Kent State to Possibly See More Green Roofs on Buildings

Sourced from Kent Wired

As Kent State continues to become more eco-friendly, the possibility of more green roofs on top of newer buildings becomes more likely.

“It’s hard to create green roofs on buildings that have existing roofs, because they have to be able to support the weight of the growing medium and the plant material for the specific amount of surface,” said Office of Suitability Director Melanie Knowles

The Board of Trustees, who oversee major projects, such as green roofs will have to consider a variety of factors, including cost effectiveness, hiring extra maintenance staff and determining if a green roof can hold a certain amount of weight load under consideration to see if it is worth investing in.

Office spaces or apartment buildings with existing green roofs can increase rent rates, which Knowles sees as investment opportunity.

“The cost depends heavily on the size, the type of green roof, which varies between extensive roofs versus low maintenance roofs, and what types of plants there would be,” said doctoral biological sciences major Anna Droz.

Green roofs are priced depending on various circumstances.

“'I’ve seen estimates say an average of 10-25 dollars per square foot,” Droz said. “In general, I would say it's much easier and cheaper to put a green roof on a brand new building, because the building will be designed with the structural requirements already in place for the green roof.”  

Currently, two existing green roofs lie on top of Taylor Hall and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design building, however the green roof can not be accessed by students for the latter.

“I would love to be able to tour one of the existing green roofs on campus and learn more about the process of it all and even be able to participate in the planting in one of my major based classes,” said Leah Cavanaugh, a senior environmental conversation biology major.

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