The Living Laboratory is a stormwater green infrastructure (GI) research and demonstration site on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey and one of the four new Regional Centers of Living Architecture Excellence. With 47 individual GI systems custom-built from the ground up to measure real-world results, the Living Laboratory is dedicated to discovering solutions for local, and ultimately national stormwater issues.
The Living Laboratory was conceived to research hydrologic mitigation and water quality performance for GI technologies, to address runoff challenges on campus, to provide opportunities for education and public engagement, and to demonstrate Stevens’ commitment to sustainable development. Across campus, the Living Laboratory currently consists of experimental green roof systems, four bioretention planters, and three rain gardens, all constructed since 2016.
The Living Laboratory’s green roof research site consists of 40 custom tables on the roof of a three-storey building. The site allows for concurrent testing of 19 green roof configurations in duplicated tables (for research quality assurance), plus two reference, “black” roofs. Beginning with substrates considered “typical” for extensive green roofs (non-proprietary blends comprised predominantly of light-weight aggregate and a small addition of organic matter), multiple combinations of baseline mixtures and amendments are currently under investigation.