Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences is the site of the second green roof on the campus of the University of Iowa.  The green roof is being added to a courtyard area that is visible from classrooms and accessible to students and faculty.

In addition to providing many environmental benefits, the green roof will give building occupants a gorgeous view. It features five unique sedum mixtures with a variety of perennial plants including Black-eyed Susan alliums, and liatris.  The green roof uses the LiveRoof® Hybrid Deep System with six inches of soil and totals 396 square feet.  The pre-vegetated modules were grown by Roof Top Sedums at their location in Davenport, Iowa and then shipped to the building site and installed by LiveRoof® Certified Installer Dryspace Inc. 

Teresa Nelson, co-owner of Roof Top Sedums says, “This green roof features a unique plant palette created by choosing plants with diverse colors and textures.  The green roof will help create green space in an area that is currently all hardscape.  The addition of the plants will help soften the courtyard area, and create a cooler and more pleasing area for building occupants to enjoy.”

University of Iowa Dean of Engineering Alec B. Scranton says, “We are delighted to have the Fethke Rooftop Terrace framed with a new eco-friendly design. People would be interested to know that our civil engineering students were challenged to re-imagine the space. Their new design was made possible by the generosity of Wayne and Phyllis Fethke. The space includes sedum plantings, a watering system, potted plants and new furniture. The terrace now provides a more welcoming environment for study and quiet time in a peaceful outdoor setting. I’m sure it’s fun for the students to see their design come to life.”

Liz Christiansen, director of University of Iowa Office of Sustainability says green roofs support the UI 2020 Vision Sustainability Targets by providing several important ecosystem, economic and social functions. “They capture rainwater, filter it and release some of it slowly, thus reducing temperature and runoff impacts in the watershed. Green roofs protect the roofing membrane and prolong its life, as well as moderate the urban heat island effect. These benefits reduce long-term maintenance costs for buildings and grounds. Green roofs can help the UI achieve its goal in the area of energy conservation, because green roofs reduce the demands on building cooling, especially during periods of peak electricity demand. Green roofs can also provide urban outdoor space for building residents to enjoy,” she said.