Catholic University Adds Third Green Roof on Campus

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, November 19, 2012

Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Calif. — The Catholic University of America has installed its third green roof on campus as part of the University’s efforts to foster sustainability and environmental stewardship. The 1,488-square-foot installation — a variety of sedum plants — was placed last month alongside the solar panels on the roof of Aquinas Hall. The University’s other installations are on the roofs of Father O’Connell Hall and the Columbus School of Law parking garage. Today at the Greenbuild® International Conference and Expo in San Francisco, Calif., LiveRoof, LLC announced that the Catholic University of America had selected its LiveRoof® Hybrid Green Roof System for the Aquinas Hall project. Catholic University’s recently updated master plan calls for the installation of additional green roofs over the next 12 years.

“This is an outgrowth of our commitment to creating a sustainable campus,” says University president John Garvey. “As the national university of the Catholic Church in America, we strive to be a living example of environmental stewardship.”

Solar panels cover about two-thirds of the roof atop Aquinas Hall at Catholic University. The green roof with sedum plants covers the remaining portion of the roof. Adding a green roof prevents UV radiation and extreme temperatures from degrading the underlying roof membrane and protects it against damage from airborne debris, says Richard Weil, senior project manager of facilities, planning and construction, Catholic University.

With the addition of the green roof, the underlying structure is expected to last two to three times longer than one without an overlay of green roof plants, notes Weil.

A green roof also holds back stormwater and curtails runoff, says Weil. “Improving stormwater management is essential in the District of Columbia, where storms overtax the capacity of the combined sewer system and pollute the waters of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers.”

Schick Goldstein Architects of Chevy Chase, Md. designed the Aquinas Hall green roof in collaboration with DC Greenworks, a non-profit organization that supports projects on low-impact stormwater management and urban forestry practices to improve the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Riverbend Nursery, the mid-Atlantic regional distributor and grower for LiveRoof, grew the green roof plants for the project. Situated on 100 acres in Riner, Va., Riverbend has 58 acres under production and grows more than 2.5 million containers of plants annually.

“When the roof was installed in October, we delivered the LiveRoof modules full of regionally adapted and locally grown plants that were mature, flourishing, and ready for the rigors of the rooftop,” said Jim Snyder, co-owner and president, Riverbend Nursery, Inc. “Installing a green roof with full-grown plants delivers immediate beauty and makes for hassle-free maintenance.”

For more information on other sustainability efforts at Catholic University, visit http://green.cua.edu.

The Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America, located near the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded by the U.S. bishops in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the University opened as a graduate and research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,900 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 12 schools — architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, social service, and theology and religious studies. For more information, visit www.cua.edu.

LiveRoof

LiveRoof®, LLC (www.liveroof.com) is the top horticultural science company in the green roof industry. Exceptional in design and function, the LiveRoof® Hybrid Green Roof System is the most refined horticultural solution. LiveRoof establishes a healthy, sustainable ecosystem that covers the rooftop with seamless vegetation. Licensed regional growers customize plant selection for every LiveRoof project. They deliver the system’s modules abundantly vegetated with locally cultivated, full-grown plants for an instant green roof and trouble-free ownership. LiveRoof’s natural function and natural beauty offer the highest level of green roof performance with ultra-low maintenance costs. The proof is on the roof — showcased in over 725 installations that total more than 2.3 million square feet. Contact LiveRoof at 800-875-1392.