Penn State Center for Green Roof Research
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Penn State Center for Green Roof Research.  Photos Courtesy Dr. Robert Berghage.Project Name: Penn State Center for Green Roof Research
Year: 2002
Owner: Penn State University
Location: University Park, PA, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Extensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 432 sq.ft.
Slope: 8.33%
Access: Inaccessible, Open to Public
Submitted by: Linda S. Velazquez

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture and: Dr. David Beattie, Penn State
Dr. Robert Berghage, Penn State
Plant Supplier: Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants
Capture systems include gutters, downspouts and collection barrels.Test Greenroof ShedsTo examine how green roof plants would respond in varying drought situations, five species were grown in three different media depths and two types of media. Initial irrigation proved vital for certain species.
The greenroof plants were planted in September, 2001, but the Penn State Green Roof Research Center was finalized in the summer of 2002 and now offers graduate and undergraduate students many learning opportunities. Formerly led by Dr. David Beattie, Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture and Director, Center for Green Roof Research, the current Center Director is Dr. Robert Berghage, also an associate professor in horticulture. Located in the department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Center's Mission Statement seeks to demonstrate and promote green roof research, education, and technology transfer in the Northeastern U.S.
Compare plants from May 28, 2002 to...the plants on September 11,  2002.
The six small (6x8ft) research buildings are located at Penn State University's Russel Larson Agricultural Research Center and involve three extensive greenroofs and three non-greened asphalt roofs; each has a heater and a/c unit. The green roofs are a modified layer system utilizing a .75" drainage layer (Enkadrain 9615, Colbond, Enka, NC). The Enkadrain drainage layer is overlain with 3.5" of an expanded clay-based mineral growing medium (Hydrolite, Garick Corp., Pittsburgh, PA), and covered with Porous Expanded Poly Propylene (PEPP). The slope of all roofs is 8.33% (1:12), and the buildings are oriented in a north-south direction. The green roofs are vegetated mainly with Sedum spurium Bieb. with some Sedum album L. and Delosperma nubigenum (Schltr.) L. Bol. and have covered 100% of the surface. The greenroof plants were watered to become established, but are not planned to receive additional watering. A weather station collects ambient environmental data for all buildings, including data on rainfall, energy usage, solar radiation, temperature, wind speed and direction.Plants will also be studied for their tolerances to drought, and high and low temperatures. Plant evaluations will be performed for physiological, biological, and ecological factors influencing plant survival. Roof function will be researched as well.The Center received additional funding from American Hydrotech in September of 2005. This funding has enabled the Center to effectively double its data gathering capacity at the Rock Springs research site. Known as the HB (Hydrotech Building), its roof now boasts two 1:12 slopes, one facing north and the other south, with an effective roof area of 27.9 m2 (288 ft2), equal to all of the original six buildings' roof areas combined.

Additional thumbnail photos:

Building layout and schematic cross section of DeNardo study at Center for Green Roof Research (DeNardo, 2003).Cummulative Runoff for 5/31 - 6/1/03Smoothed hydrograph for runoff on 5/31 - 6/1/03Close-up of the thermister and weather station on a black test roofSee the thermister on the Sedum spurium of the greened test roof
Read more in the July 2006 Guest Feature by Drew Mather. For project information contact Dr. Robert Berghage at: 814.863.2190 or Visit the Penn State Center for Green Roof Research website.
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