May 07, 2012

Eco-Roofs Helps Butler University Students Complete First Campus Green Roof Installation

The university installed its first green roof at the end of March

Eco-Roofs completed a 1,300-sq-ft green roof installation atop the four-story, 67-year-old College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building on the campus of Butler University. This is the first green roof undertaking for the university and was installed entirely by an all-volunteer crew of students, faculty and university staff, led by Eco-Roofs' accredited Green Roof Professional and Project Coordinator Pat Maloney.

The project was initiated by Butler biology student Sarah Strobl while researching green roofs as a topic for her honors thesis. After conducting feasibility studies and other background analysis, Strobl and university officials, including campus engineer Rich Michal, consulted with a number of green roof manufacturers in January 2012 and determined that Eco-Roofs was the only system that could meet their all of their needs.

One of the key features of the Eco-Roofs system is the ease of installation engineered into the modular system of plant trays. Both newly-trained and experienced installers can achieve optimum results, providing building owners with greater flexibility and potential cost savings. Eco-Roofs provided free training for the volunteers prior to the installation through its new product-specific certification program. 

Eco-Roofs offers several systems to choose from, each designed to meet distinct needs and applications: a modular tray system; a built-in-place system; and an advanced green roof system. Eco-Roof trays can be installed even during the winter months while the plants are dormant.

Campus engineer Rich Michal, project manager for the green roof installation, said that the Eco-Roofs met all of the university's objectives for the installation: a lightweight product that would meet the building's loading limitations; pre-grown modular trays of established plants that did not require a growing-in period; the ability to do the installation with minimal disruption to the building's operations; a company with experience doing successful installations in the Midwest; and working within an installation timeframe when students were on campus but that didn't interfere with course finals.

As plans for the installation were finalized, the university expanded the project to encompass additional square footage of the roof space to maximize the benefits green roofs provide. "The green roof may double, even triple the life of the roofing membrane," said Maloney, Midwest representative for Eco-Roofs, "and also provides insulation to help reduce heating and cooling costs." 

The installation took place at the end of March.