Catholic University of America gets its 3rd green roof

The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., has installed its third green roof on campus as part of the school'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, an academic building.

The University’s other installations are on the roofs of Father O’Connell Hall, an administration building,and the Columbus School of Law parking garage.

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,” University president John Garvey said in a news release.

Solar panels cover about two-thirds of the roof atop Aquinas Hall. The green roof with sedum plants covers the remaining portion of the roof. Adding a green roof prevents ultraviolet 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.

Because of 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. A green roof also holds back stormwater and curtails runoff.

LiveRoof created the green roofing system being used on Aquinas Hall. Schick Goldstein Architects designed the green roof in collaboration with DC Greenworks, a non-profit organization that supports projects on low-impact stormwater management and urban forestry practices. Riverbend Nursery in Riner, Va., grew the green roof plants for the project.

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