Green Roofs Part of Notre Dame's Higher Calling For Sustainability

Sourced from Inside Indiana Business

The University of Notre Dame has taken its green efforts to new heights. The school is touting what it calls the largest green roof in Indiana. The more than 79,000 square-foot installation sits on top of the Joyce Center, home to the Fighting Irish Athletics Department and the Purcell Pavilion arena.

The project marks the fifth and largest green roof Notre Dame has installed on campus, including three buildings around the football stadium. The others are at the Morris Inn, Corbett Family Hall, Duncan Student Center and O'Neill Hall.

Senior Director of Sustainability and Continuous Improvement Carol Mullaney says putting living vegetation planted on rooftops helps buildings conserve energy and water. She says it helps eliminate stormwater runoff and provides insulation for the buildings, decreasing the heating and cooling needed. In addition, the installations protect the roofs from sunlight, meaning they last longer.

Notre Dame partnered with Michigan-based LiveRoof to design and grow the greenscape, which was then installed by Midland Engineering Co. in South Bend. The installation includes more than 32,000 trays of plants, consisting of 25 plant species. It also features a rooftop irrigation system.

The green roofs are part of an ambitious goal the school set in 2005: reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and 83 percent by 2050. Mullaney says the school is trending ahead of those goals thanks to a system-wide focus on sustainability.

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