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The Denver Botanic Gardens is located at 909 York St., Denver, CO 80206; 720.865.3500; visit their Green Roof page. Learn about the research in the November 17, 2011 Green Roof Plant Trials 2011 prepared by Amy Schneider, Horticulture Department,
Denver Botanic Gardens. See the case study in the November 10, 2010 Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual for Green Roofs In the Semi-Arid and Arid West© on page 36 by Leila Tolderlund, LEED AP, GRP, University of Colorado Denver in collaboration with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, City and County of Denver, Environmental Protection Agency Region 8, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, and Colorado State University. Also see the case study from Bison Deck Supports. Read the May 17, 2009 Denver Botanic Gardens blog post Green Roof – a year-and -a-half later by Sarada Krishnan. Learn about Bison Innovative Products in the Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.

Denver Botanic Gardens features North America’s largest collection of plants from cold temperate climates around the world, as well as 7 diverse gardens that primarily include plants from Colorado and surrounding states.

The first publicly accessible green roof in the city of Denver, the Denver Botanic Gardens Green Roof was completed in November, 2007 and “is a testing ground to determine performance and suitability of plants for green roof use in our semi-arid climate. Rather than use traditional green roof plants, the Green Roof, which was installed in fall 2007, showcases over 100 species of native and drought tolerant plants, (Denver Botanic Gardens website, see below).

The Denver Botanic Gardens Green Roof “is a semi-intensive roof that is a retrofit onto a 1950’s structure. The main purposes of this roof are to identify a broader palette of plants that may be feasible for Colorado green roofs and experiment with irrigation amounts and frequency. Staff report that an objective is irrigating about 10-12 times per year with about ¼” of water. Researchers are also examining which plants become dormant versus which plants die without irrigation. The current green roof is designed with varying irrigation zones to conduct this research,” (Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual for Green Roofs In the Semi-Arid and Arid West©, 2010).

The semi-intensive greenroof showcases drought tolerant plant material, lightweight growthing medium, drip irrigation for supplemental watering, copper flashing, a sinuous curved rock wall, and an Ipe wood deck constructed with Bison Wood Tiles and Deck Supports. The growing media ranges in depth from 4” – 12” in a custom blend by then Denver Botanic Gardens’ Senior Horticulturalist Mark Fusco.


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