Notre Dame Installs Green Roof on Joyce Center

Sourced from The Observer

The golden dome is no longer the only rooftop catching eyes on campus.

This summer, a green roof was installed on top of Notre Dame’s Joyce Center. Featuring nearly two acres of vegetation at 79,096 square feet, it is the largest green roof in Indiana, a University press release said, and is thought to be the largest at any college or university in the United States. It is the University’s fifth living roof, joining those on the Duncan Student Center, Corbett Family Hall, O’Neill Hall and Morris Inn.

Greg Seiss, the vice president of Midland Engineering — the contractor that spearheaded the project — said the green roof was installed as part of a campus-wide sustainability initiative.

The initiative aims to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon footprint by more than half by 2030. It was enacted by University President Fr. John Jenkins in 2015 in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si’,” which calls people to take action against environmental degradation.

Seiss said the green roof helps conserve thermal energy and direct water away from the University’s sewer systems.

“You have an insulating factor with the green roof [and] you also reduce the amount of rainwater that runs off into the drainage,” he said.

The vegetation will also protect the roof, Seiss said, extending its lifespan by up to 300 percent — allowing it to last 20 to 40 years.

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