A Green Roof for Beauty, Function, and Education

Sourced from Bowdoin College

The green roof atop the new Roux Center for the Environment seems to spill out from under its fence onto the terrace. The visual effect of the garden pushing past its boundaries is lovely, but the design is actually more functional than aesthetic. With the garden underfoot and its plants within reach, students can interact with it, for class or research.

The green roof is 2,820 square feet; 350 square feet of it will be available for experimentation. The soil is six inches deep on the rooftop. The four raised planters have four extra inches of soil. At the moment, the garden is still young; it will take a year or two to get fully established, according to Bowdoin’s Director of Capital Projects Don Borkowski.

But it already has charm. “It’s beautiful and will get more beautiful, and it does contribute to the functioning of the building,” said Professor of Biology Barry Logan, a plant physiological ecologist who plans to incorporate the garden into some of his courses.

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