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Green Roof

Green roofs provide insulation reducing heat lost through a traditional roof and decreasing the need for air conditioning throughout hot months. The reduction in heating and cooling costs can be significant depending on the size of the green roof compared to the overall size of the building roof. Green roofs can also increase the lifespan of a building’s roof by protecting structural elements from UV rays, wind and temperature; increase agricultural space; reduce noise; and increase real estate resale value. Although installation costs are higher than traditional roofs, if properly maintained green roofs will last longer than traditional roofs resulting in lower costs over the long-term.

Plants, including those installed as part of a green roof, filter rain water removing sediment and nutrient pollutant from runoff. Every time it rains, water moves across traditional roofs picking up any sediment, nutrients, metals or other materials deposited on the surface of the roof. Water moves from your roof into your downspout and out into the storm drain. Once in the storm drain system, polluted runoff is carried directly to the Wabash River. Within portions of Greater Lafayette, polluted runoff combines with wastewater and flows untreated into the Wabash River. Installation of a green roof can reduce up to 95% of the volume of polluted runoff from your property. The more water you retain on site, the less water flows across the land surface resulting in less sediment and nutrient polluted runoff flowing directly into the Wabash River. Additionally, green roofs absorb pollutants from the air filtering these before releasing dissolved oxygen into the air and provide habitat for insects and birds.

Local Sources:

Although materials to build a green roof are not readily available locally, two green roofs offer examples of how green roofs looks once installed. Schleman Hall (475 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette) and the City of Lafayette’s office at 515 N. Columbia Street, Lafayette both include green roofs. Stop at Schleman Hall for a self-guided tour or at the City of Lafayette’s office for a personal look at the structure.


Green roof architecture