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Research Links informs you of current greenroof sources and studies being conducted by universities, private companies, and public or governmental affiliates.  In some cases the data is open to the public and in others it is proprietary information, and membership into that particular organization may be required.  These Research Links are provided for your reference due to reader demand.

Visit the Green Resources section of The Greenroof Directory for additional green building and professional resource sites.

Individual student and test projects may be also found at The Student Forum.  Search The Greenroof Projects Database for a multi-field searchable list of projects.

List your Research Link here.

Private       University       Public/Government      Joint Studies


Casey Trees - The mission of the Casey Trees Endowment Fund is to restore, enhance, and protect the tree canopy of the U.S. Nation's Capital.  On August 25, 2005 Casey Trees and Limno-Tech published research quantifying the water and air quality benefits provided by green roofs entitled:

Re-Greening Washington DC: A Green Roof Vision Based on Quantifying Storm Water and Air Quality Benefits -

Read the DC Green Roof Vision Abstract
Read the DC Green Roof Vision Full Report

FLL - Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau e.V.(The Research Society for Landscape Development and Landscape Design)
The FLL is the non-profit Research Society for Landscape Development and Landscape Design founded in 1975 and h
eadquartered in Bonn, Germany.  The FLL has established a standardized method for investigating and determining the root penetration resistance of waterproofing products used throughout Europe.  FLL regulatory publications complement relevant DIN standards and the VOB General Contractual Conditions (Technical), Part C (contract procedure) and their mission is to guarantee quality control of material production, and establishing and dissemination of principles/guidelines/ specifications.  Click here for the FLL's English page.

Charlie Miller, P. E. states, "The guide covers all aspects of green roof design. It is an invaluable to green roof practitioners in developing appropriate media (engineered soil) for various applications, selection of plants, management of drainage etc. The FLL has also developed specific tests to determine the root resistance of waterproofing materials and root-barriers, evaluate water-holding capacity of media, and estimate maximum weight of green roof media."  The 2002 FLL "Guidelines for the Planning, Development, and Maintenance of Green Roofs" (Richlinien für die Planung, Ausführung and Plege von Dachbegrünung) is available from the FLL.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
The Green Roofs Tree of Knowledge: There is a considerable amount of work being published on the many socio-economic and bio-physical benefits that green roofs provide. The Green Roofs Tree of Knowledge is a searchable database of English language publications on research and policy related to green roof infrastructure. It provides users with a single resource that aggregates existing knowledge of this versatile technology with regards to its benefits and available policy options. It is designed to equip green roof advocates with the evidence needed to get decision-makers to move from talk to policy action and provide researchers with an opportunity to share their results (2007).

Research Committee
The goal of the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Research Committee is to improve the quality and quantity of green roof research at the product, building, and community scales and to help select and peer review Research Track papers for the annual conference.
 The Research Committee is chaired by Bradley Rowe, PhD with Maureen Connelly B.Sc., B.E.D.S., M.Arch, as vice-Chair.  They have compiled a great bibliographical resource of researchers in various fields, offering an overview of current and planned research, lists contact information for greenroof researchers, and more.

See the BIBLIOGRAPHY OF GREEN ROOF ARTICLES IN ENGLISH (PDF updated 4-16-06), which contains peer reviewed scientific journal articles, books, proceedings from meetings, and other reports.  Please send additions and corrections to Brad Rowe at Michigan State University.  Brad and Maureen's contact info:

Bradley Rowe, PhD, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, Department of Horticulture, A212 Plant & Soil Sciences Building, East Lansing, MI 48824; Phone: 517.355.5191 Ext. 1334; Fax: 517.353.0890; Email:;;

Maureen Connelly B.Sc., B.E.D.S., M.Arch, MAIBC Faculty, Architectural & Building Engineering Technology Research Program Head Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Technology School of Construction and the Environment, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 555 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC., Canada V5T 1E2; Telephone: 604.456.8045; Fax: 604.877.0163

2000 Proceedings of Establishing Common Protocols for Building and Aggregate Level Green Roof Benefits Research Workshop

GreenGrid™ -
The Weston Solutions, Inc. (WESTON®) and ABC Supply Co., Inc. (ABC Supply) modular greenroof system currently conducts monitoring for the following performances at ABC Supply's corporate headquarters in Beloit, Wisconsin:
  Stormwater and energy.

Since 2001 "GreenGrid™ has been collecting temperature data at our research facility in Wisconsin. The data has been collected for the temperatures of black roof membranes, white roof membranes, underneath the 4-inch and 8-inch depth modules (between the modules and the membrane beneath them), ambient conditions, as well as for other permutations and products. The data is fed live to our internet site, which is updated every hour, and is now available for viewing in graphic format. In addition, we have stored all of the monthly data since the inception of the monitoring program. That data is also available. For those who wish to see the raw data, it is provided as well at the site. Just click on the below to enter the site and follow the instructions." Click here to learn more and register for DataLink.

Goya Ngan, BCSLA
Goya Ngan is a landscape architect based in Saskatoon, Canada. She launched her website in January, 2005 concentrating on greenroofs - see here. Goya has a Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia. She practiced in Vancouver for six years and in Germany for six years before moving to Saskatoon. She has experience with a wide range of projects in several different countries. She speaks English, French and German.

Recent projects have focused on research for sustainable design practices and include the following:

"Green Roof Waterproofing: Expertise from Germany": A report written for Public Works and Government Services Canada
Preliminary Design Guidelines for Stormwater Source Controls for the Greater Vancouver Regional District
Green Roof Guide for the Greater Vancouver Regional District
"Green Roof Policies: Tools for Encouraging Sustainable Design": A report partially funded by the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation

Goya Ngan is currently conducting green roof vegetation research with plots in British Columbia and Saskatchewan in association with Nick Page of Raincoast Applied Ecology. They are interested in collaborating on further green roof projects focusing on the design of sustainable plant communities.

Magnusson Klemencic Associates
According to the website, "Magnusson Klemencic Associates (formerly “Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire”) has engineered some of the most significant structural and civil engineering projects in the world."  Recently, Magnusson Kelmencic Associates (MKA)  completed an 18-month evaluation of greenroof performance in Seattle.  The Seattle Green Roof Evaluation Project Final Report details the findings of over 1.5 million measurements of data gathered from five greenroof test plots around Seattle's downtown area.  The results showed that the green roofs reduced the rainfall runoff by between 65% to 94% -- much more than had been modeled.

Anyone interested can contact Magnusson Klemencic Associates for a copy of their March 2007 report.

North West EcoBuilding Guild -
According to the website, "The Guild is composed of approximately 400 members who are building contractors, architects, designers, horticulturists, students, and others interested in promoting sustainable design and construction practices. Our chapters range from Eugene, OR to Spokane, WA to Vancouver, BC and points in between. One of our primary projects is the green roof project."  See the June 2003 Guest Feature Article by Patrick Carey, the Director of the North West EcoBuilding Guild.  Patrick is the Architecture Editor, see articles from his column "A View from the Sky Trenches."

Optigrün - see the English site here.
Optigrün, headquartered near Stuttgart, Germany,
maintains the world’s largest private database on the performance of greenroofs, having accumulated stormwater performance data for years.  The proprietary "RWS Computer Simulation Program" is available to clients and partnersStormwater studies have been conducted relative to growth media types and depths; slopes; and vegetation. Contact Dr. Gunter Mann, Optigrün international AG, Am Birkenstock 19, D-72505 Krauchenwies; Tel. +49 (0) 7576-7720; Fax +49 (0) 7576-772299;,.

Roofscapes, Inc. -
Roofscapes, Inc. offers the engineered Roofmeadow® vegetated roof cover  systems, and provides custom formulated media for its Roofmeadow family of greenroof systems.

The following Roofscapes research work by Principal Charlie Miller, P.E. is available from his website in PDF:  runoff management; thermal effects; water holding capacity of retention/drainage sheets; and growth media selection. The Roofscapes website also refers to water quality studies performed by Manfred Köhler and Marco Schmidt and runoff retention from a German case study.

ZinCo GmbH -
ZinCo GmbH headquarters are located in southern Germany near Stuttgart.  The engineering department of this international company is involved with many ongoing research projects.

One main focus for their research is the adaptation of green roof system build-ups for extreme climate conditions.  Other research topics include: thermal insulation, lifecycle costs, drainage substrates, safety equipment, and many others.  In addition, there is a large database concerning the use of green roof water run-off for household functions (e.g. washing, toilet water, irrigation, etc).

The database is established on practical experience and is available for any interested parties.  All inquiries are welcome.  Contact Ms Heidrun Eckert, ZinCo GmbH, Grabenstrasse 33, Unterensingen, 72669 Germany;; Phone +49.7022.60.03.544; Fax +49.7022.60.03.543;


Columbia University - The Center for Climate Systems Research: Climate Impacts Group
Mission: "The Center for Climate Systems Research is a unit of Columbia University's Earth Institute and was established in 1994 for the purpose of enhancing the program of interdisciplinary Earth and Climate systems research both at Columbia and the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies. NASA/GISS is a division of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD; GISS is located in NYC just off Columbia's main campus.

"New York City faces a suite of environmental and human health challenges in the 21st century. The need to understand the nature of these challenges, and to evaluate potential mitigation and adaptation strategies requires innovative scientific research and assessment, coupled with sound land-use planning, technological innovation, and urban policy. Our research explores the development of 'green' or vegetated rooftops as an ecological infrastructure in New York City.

"Green roofs provide multiple environmental benefits by integrating the natural cooling, insulating, and water-retention properties of soil and vegetation into city buildings. There are many potential benefits of green roofs, but we focus on several key impact sectors.

"These are:

*  Energy use and global climate change
*  Urban heat island effect
*  Stormwater runoff
*  Our research includes data analysis, simulation models, geographical information systems (GIS) and cost-benefit calculations."

Research Stations are situated at:

Columbia University
Queens Botanical Garden
Con Ed

Rosenzweig, C., S. Gaffin, and L. Parshall (Eds.) 2006. Green Roofs in the New York Metropolitan Region: Research Report. Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. New York. 59 pages.

Colorado State University Green Roof Program, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture -
The Colorado State Green Roof Research website outlines several green roof projects, primarily focusing on biological performance research being conducted at the EPA Region 8 office building in Denver, CO. See the EPA Region 8 Headquarters in downtown Denver, location of research

The data collected through this project will be used to achieve three objectives:

Determine herbaceous plant species suitable for green roof use in the semi-arid, high elevation Front Range of Colorado.
Determine media types or mixes suited to supporting extensive green roof plants.
Identifying additional areas for expanded research.

Achieving objective #1: Determine herbaceous plant species suitable for green roof use in the semi-arid, high elevation Front Range of Colorado.

Plants will be selected for experimentation based on certain criteria: drought resistance, if they are groundcovers (beneficial for extensive green roofs to obtain good coverage) or accent plants (good for contrast with groundcovers in heights and bloom times), if they are evergreen and length of bloom season (Table T-1). Species which are native to Colorado are important because they are adapted to the extreme conditions of the climate, hence the indication of nativity.


Michigan State University (MSU) Vegetative Greenroof Research Program -
According to the website, the MSU Vegetative Greenroof Research Program "was initiated in collaboration with Ford Motor Company during 2000 in an effort to advise them on the installation of a 10.6 acre extensive green roof on a new assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The objectives of our ongoing research are to evaluate plant species, propagation and establishment methods, substrates, water and nutrient requirements, and water quality and quantity of runoff. Numerous experiments are currently being conducted on 48 simulated roof platforms at the Horticulture Teaching and Research Center at MSU."

On May 21, 2004, Michigan State University installed its own "real" extensive 3500 sf greenroof on the Plant and Soil Sciences Building (PSSB). Their green roof is the first on campus, and the first in the Michigan’s public university system to establish studies comparing roofing surfaces. The Green Roof Research Program will be implementing additional studies to further monitor green roof performance.

Dr. Bradley Rowe, Professor, Horticulture, heads up the Michigan State University's Department of Horticulture and Green Roof Research Program.  Contact Dr. Rowe at:  Also contact Kristin Getter, PhD Graduate Research Assistant, Horticulture at:

North Carolina State University's Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) Greenroof Research -
In the spring of 2002, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences began greenroof research in the areas of stormwater and
nitrogen and phosphorus removal, the first such study in the U.S.  The North Carolina greenroof demonstration sites are located in Raleigh, Kinston and Goldsboro and their purpose is threefold in regards to stormwater: to determine the quantity, quality and temperature reduction of stormwater runoff.  Plant growth is also studied.

Neuseway Nature Center in Kinston, NC is situated on a 3% pitch roof and is funded by NCSU Cooperative Extension.

Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC is on a flat roof, funded by N.C. DENR, 319(h) Grant (Mid-Neuse NonPoint Source Team).

Read the PDF: A North Carolina Field Study to Evaluate Greenroof Runoff Quantity, Runoff Quality, and Plant Growth.  (Revised August 2003)

Contact the research team leaders:  Bill Hunt, P. E.,  is a NC Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering: Mike Regan is an Area Specialized Agent in Environmental Education with the NC Cooperative Extension Service and a member of the Neuse Education Team:  Amy Moran is a Graduate Research Assistant with NC State's Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department:

Penn State Green Roof Research Center -
In summer 2002, the Penn State Green Roof Research Center was finalized, led by the late Dr. David Beattie, Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture and founding Director.  The Penn State Center for Green Roof Research offers graduate and undergraduate students many learning opportunities.

Download the Penn State Green Roof Research class syllabus for "EcoRoof Technology (Hort 497A)" here.

Presently led by Robert Berghage, PhD, Associate Professor of Ornamental Horticulture and Director, Center for Green Roof Research, the Center is located in the department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences.  The Mission Statement seeks to demonstrate and promote green roof research, education, and technology transfer in the Northeastern U.S.

Monitoring is being conducted on: plant growth and spread, stock beds and hardiness evaluation, extensive heat flux, stormwater runoff, nutrient filtration data, rainwater nutrient amelioration, and neutralizing acid rain.

For project information contact Dr. Robert Berghage at Penn State, 318B Tyson Building, University Park, PA 16802; phone: 814.863.2190; fax: 814.863.6139;

See the project profile in The Greenroof Projects Database here.

The Green Roof Centre of Excellence Neubrandenburg (University of Applied Sciences), Germany
Manfred Koehler is one of the longest established researchers with experience in scientific green roof research within Germany. Manfred’s work is focused on measuring the ecological effects of green roofs. His background in the field was established with the Institute of Ecology of the Technical University of Berlin, where in 1961 the former director, Professor Dr. Bornkamm, had published his own first research about the vegetation of green roofs.

Manfred Koehler’s PhD centered on the eco-effects of green façades in Berlin, where in 1994 he was a Professor of Landscape Ecology at the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg – Vorpommern, in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. He has been conducting his own green roof research in Berlin since 1984, including the Project Paul-Lincke Ufer and with the Ufafabik – Project since 1992. Cooperation with the Technical University still exists today between the two.

In 1998 and 2000 two green roofs, approximately 1,000 square meters each, were installed on two buildings of the new University of Applied Sciences in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Growing media and plant species have been tested there, and the main focus of testing is based on the modification of climate parameters on the green roofs. The various monitoring parameters include: temperatures within the growing media and on the surface using infra red; radiation balances; air speed; precipitation and runoff.  The most important instrument here is the lysimeter, which measures the water content that percolates through the depth of the growth media.  Visit The Green Roof Centre of Excellence Neubrandenburg (University of Applied Sciences) in English.

The monitoring for the University of Applied Sciences in Neubrandenburg is comparable in equipment to the older Ufa-factory in Berlin – Templehof green roof research. See, where there is also some information available in English about their ongoing eco-activities.

Solar Panels and GreenroofWeather Station atop the Greenroof

Ufa-factory in Berlin – Templehof green roof research;

To read further research publications from Manfred Koehler, please visit the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg website:  Email:

Texas A&M University - Interdisciplinary Green Roof Research Group

Green roof research is being conducted at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station, headed up by Bruce Dvorak, RLA, ASLA, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. A Green Roof Pilot Study at the Texas A&M Architecture Center Langford Building A was performed in 2009-2010.

"The interdisciplinary green roof research taking place on the Langford building at Texas A&M University was initiated spring of 2009.  CRIC (College Research and Interdisciplinary Council) Grant funds were used to purchase monitoring equipment for twelve 2’ by 2’ square green roof modules donated by Tecta America.  Plants were donated by Emory Knoll Farms and growth media by Rooflite. The focus of the center is to explore possibilities for low-input green roofs for central Texas through quantitative research."

Their green roof research site up and running now. Visit their Interdisciplinary Green Roof Research Group at Texas A&M University website to learn more, and specifically their TAMU Green Roof Research page here for specifics in these areas:

Methods, Plant Investigations, Stormwater Volume Reduction, Stormwater Quality, and Cooling Effect

Read the related "Green roof vegetation for North American ecoregions: A literature review" by Bruce Dvorak and Astrid Volder in Landscape and Urban Planning Volume 96, Issue 4, of June 30, 2010, and "Chemistry of growth medium and leachate from green roof systems in south-central Texas" by
Jacqueline A. Aitkenhead-Peterson, Bruce D. Dvorak, Astrid Volder and Nina C. Stanley in SpringerLink - Urban Ecosystems of August 10, 2010.

Contact Bruce at: 979.458.0628 or

The University of Georgia - Institute of Ecology
PhD student Tim Carter established the first vegetated roof research site on the Science Library-Boyd Hall Graduate Studies building at the University of Georgia (UGA), completed in October, 2003 and was scheduled to last at least three years - long enough to demonstrate to UGA officials its stormwater-handling potential.  A second greenroof trial area was completed in 2004 adjacent to the Science Library location.

Tim Carter completed his Ph.D. at The Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia (Fall 2006), focusing on using greenroofs as part of GIS modeling for examining remediation of urban watersheds and is the former Student Editor.  Reach him at:

Read Tim's website that has links to his published research at the University of Georgia.  His  dissertation, some published articles, and two other master's students theses on green roofs are posted there.  Tim says, "Probably the easiest way to see the results of UGA's research site."

See the project profiles in The Greenroof Projects Database:  University of Georgia Boyd GS Research and the University of Georgia Test Plot #2.

The University of Sheffield's Flowering Green Roofs
The University of Sheffield, Department of Landscape research plots were established in Spring 2001 and are located on on a flat roof on a commercial building, Napier Street Centre, in the City of Sheffield, England.  According to the website, "The aim of this research is to investigate the potential of a wide range of herbaceous species for inclusion in flowering green roofs. In particular the research investigates species that will be successful under British climatic conditions. It is intended that the research will inform the development of naturalistic meadow like communities that will have very long flowering periods, but which will also endure the stressful conditions of thin soils and infrequent watering.

Thirty different herbaceous species and grasses were planted in March 2001 and plant performance was monitored through 2003 to investigate the use of seeding as well as planting, developing the use of seed mat technology, and to trial a wider range of plants, including native British meadow species."

Principal Investigator Nigel Dunnett says, "The aim of the trials is to investigate the range of plant material that is suitable for use on extensive and semi-extensive green roofs in the UK climate (generally cooler and wetter than central Europe where much previous green roof research has been undertaken). Plant mixtures are being grown on different substrate depths, with and without additional irrigation. Plants were chosen for the trials that had a known degree of drought-tolerance.

In the trials, substrate depth has had less influence on plant survival and performance that the effect of periodic irrigation, even if this irrigation was minimal. However, irrigation and increased substrate depth was detrimental to carpeting species, such as many Sedums, which were out-competed by more vigorous species under favourable conditions. Further trials investigate plant establishment methods, particularly the use of seed mixtures to establish meadow-like communities of both native and non-native grasses and flowering plants."

Nigel Dunnett is the co-author of Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls” along with Noël Kingsbury; read our review here.  Nigel may be reached at:; phone: 0114 222 0611.


City of Chicago Green Roof Page
Chicago City Hall - Find general Chicago City Hall greenroof monitoring info here.  Read the August 8, 2001 Chicago City Hall Temperature Fluctuation Differences between both sides of the building, greened (City Hall) vs. barren (Cook County) PDF.

GreenTech Environment and Sustainability -

Green Roof Test Plots at the Chicago Center for Green Technology - According toan older version of the City of Chicago's DOE website, "As part of its ongoing interest in, and commitment to, green roof technology, the City of Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) hired a consultant to carry out an experimental program that compared temperature and stormwater runoff characteristics of a variety of green roofs to conventional roofs. These green and conventional roof systems were installed on top of a series of 6’ x 6’ x 3.5’ sheds on a gravel pad at the Chicago Center for Green Technology (see GreenTech U above). The sheds were built in spring 2003 and outfitted with data logging instruments. DOE invited several commercial green roof providers to install their green roof systems on individual sheds. Six unique green roof products were tested against the performance of three conventional roofing materials (stone, black tar and white reflective pain), all while monitoring baseline local weather conditions.  Data collection began May 1, 2003.

Data collection on the test plots continues and will be reported as results are made available. Anyone interested can see the test plots for themselves at the Chicago Center for Green Technology."  Data was collected during the remainder of that year and published in the PDF entitled "Green Roof Test Plot 2003 End of Year Project Summary Report" prepared by MWH Americas, Inc. for the City of Chicago Department of Environment.

City of Toronto
2005:  The City of Toronto, Canada, has a new website dedicated to promoting green roofs in Toronto. Ryerson University was selected to research the citywide benefits of green roofs, and the results are documented in the 88-page "Report on the Environmental Benefits and Costs of Green Roof Technology for the City of Toronto," (PDF) prepared by Ryerson University.

From the City's website read all about the study findings of the citywide benefits of green roofs in Toronto for the following in: stormwater, energy consumption, urban heat island effect, air quality and emissions, and other city benefits.

City of Waterloo, Environmental Services

  Read the following Project Press Release from The City of Waterloo - 9.01.05
City of Waterloo's Green Roof Nears Completion

Looking at the vegetative mats

The City of Waterloo in partnership with Xero Flor Canada Ltd.

2004: The City of Waterloo, Canada, is presently conducting a Green Roofs Feasibility Study. According to the Project Update PDF, "the objective of this study is to evaluate a number of municipally-owned properties for their suitability, firstly as a green roof demonstration site, and secondly, as a potential future green roof project site. The purpose of the feasibility study is to decide if this technology is appropriate for Waterloo by providing a design and business plan. The demonstration site evaluation emphasizes certain considerations, such as visibility from the street, closeness to the uptown core area, and accessibility, both in terms of structural concerns (i.e.: rooftop stairway characteristics) and infrastructural access (i.e.: number of bus routes servicing the location, or amount of parking available.) The City of Waterloo understands that accessibility to the green rooftop is an integral part of any successful demonstration site, since the goal of the demo site is to be viewed by the public. The aim of the project is to display a simple, low-maintenance green roof system that demonstrates the broad range of benefits a green roof can provide."

Government of Hong Kong

2.16.06:  The Architectural Services Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has issued a Study on Green Roof Application in Hong Kong Final Executive Summary (PDF/750KB).  The 12-page document includes a Green Roofs Overview, Design & Technical Guidelines, and Recommendations for greenroof directions for Hong Kong and the way forward.

Download it here from their Knowledge Sharing page.

National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

2006: Dr. Karen Liu, Research Officer with the National Research Council, Institute for Research in Construction Building Envelope and Structure Program, provides highlights of her analysis of the thermal properties of green roofs in this PDF.

2003: NRC's Institute for Research in Construction offers a PDF on the thermal performance of green roofs through field evaluation by Karen Liu and Bas Baskaran of NRC's Field Roof Facility in Ottawa, Canada, evaluated from 2000 - 2002.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

2006: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature, and has released the New York City Regional Heat Island Initiative Final Report 06-06 entitled "MITIGATING NEW YORK CITY’S HEAT ISLAND WITH URBAN FORESTRY, LIVING ROOFS, AND LIGHT SURFACES," dated October 2006.

The Report was prepared by Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research & NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, NY, with Cynthia Rosenzweig as Principal Investigator; and Department of Geography, Hunter College - CUNY in New York, NY, with William D. Solecki as Principal Investigator; and Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in Albany, NY, with Ronald B. Slosberg as Principal Investigator. This report was prepared by the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Hunter College – CUNY, and SAIC Corporation in the course of performing work contracted for and sponsored by NYSERDA.

This study uses a regional climate model (MM5) in combination with observed meteorological, satellite, and GIS data to determine the impact of urban forestry, living (green) roofs, and light-colored surfaces on near-surface air temperature and the urban heat island in New York City. Nine mitigation scenarios are evaluated city-wide and in six case study areas. Temperature impacts are calculated both on a per-unit area basis, as well as taking into account the available land area for implementation, and other physical constraints. The scenarios are then evaluated based on their cost-effectiveness at reducing air temperature and resulting energy demand. All the mitigation strategies have a significant temperature impact. A combined strategy that maximizes the amount of vegetation in New York City by planting trees along streets and in open spaces, as well as by building living (or green) roofs (i.e. ecological infrastructure), offers more potential cooling than any individual strategy. Among the single-strategy scenarios, light surfaces, light roofs, and living roofs can potentially reduce the summer peak electric load more than the other strategies. The choice of a strategy should consider the characteristics and priorities of the neighborhood, including benefit/cost factors and the available area for implementation of each strategy.

Keywords – urban heat island mitigation, energy demand, cost-benefit analysis, MM5

Joint Studies

The Augustenborg Botanical Roof Garden, Malmö, Sweden
Partners include the International Green Roof Institute; the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp; Department of Landscape Planning, SLU, Alnarp; Department of Ecology, Lund University; Department of Systematic Botany, Lund University; Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology; Department of Construction and Architecture, Lund Institute of Technology; Malmö University; Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping Institute of Technology; Professor Liesecke, University of Hannover.

The website has an area for related Research studies, and currently includes this one by: Justyna Czemiel Berndtsson: The influence of extensive vegetated roofs on runoff quality.

The Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) Greenroof Research is focusing on factors that can influence the performance and establishment of a green roof in Sweden. They are currently testing the impact of different substrates, different establishment methods, species mixtures, drainage materials and slopes on an extensive roof vegetation.  Other researchers from Lund University are working on the impact off green roofs on biodiversity and storm-water management.

Establishment methods, substrates, plant mixes, experimental design, vegetation survey, soil analysis and statistical analysis can be found in the following January 12, 2005 report by Tobias Emilsson and Kaj Rolf of the Department of Landscape Management and Horticultural Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Alnarp, Sweden:

Comparison of establishment methods for extensive green roofs in southern Sweden
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening,
by Tobias Emilsson, and Kaj Rolf
January 12, 2005

See the complete project profile in The Greenroof Projects Database here.

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Green Roofs Research Facility located on the Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, B.C. is a collaborative research venture involving BCIT's School of Construction & the Environment and Department of Architectural & Building Engineering Technology, the Institute for Research in Construction, and the National Research Council of Canada.

Identified Goals:  six overall goals have been identified for the Green Roof Research Facility:

1)  Obtain data on how green roofs affect stormwater runoff characteristics in the temperate rainforest climate.
2)  Obtain data on the thermal performance and energy efficiency of green roofs in this climate.
3)  Obtain data on the quality of stormwater runoff from green roofs, recognizing the environmental implications.
4)  Evaluate species selection and system maintenance programs appropriate to this climate.
5)  Provide technology transfer through BCIT's educational mandate in support of the Institute's strategic directions.
6)  Evaluate and disseminate data collected for use by architects, engineers, developers, and regional policy makers.

For further information, please contact:

Maureen Connelly, MAIBC
Architectural & Building Engineering Technology
School of Construction, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Email:; Telephone: 604.451.7029

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Technology (CAGRT) is offering three new green roof interdisciplinary courses:

* GROW 1000 Green Roofs - Concepts, Systems and Incentives (4 hours, 4 LUs)

* GROW 1000 Green Roofs - Details, Installation and Maintenance (18 hours, 18 LUs, 1.5 credits)

* GROW 3000 Green Roofs and Living Walls for Environmental Solutions (45 hours, 45 LUs, 3.0 credits)

All courses will be taught by experienced industry professionals and faculty of BCIT and Kwantlen University College and can be taken in any order.  For more info, download the PDF, and check out the CAGRT website or click on “green roof courses” for more details.


Read:  Students Plant a Green Future for the Environment and the Economy
EPA Newsroom,
EPA Press Release
October 11, 2006

Washington, D.C. "Think money doesn't grow on trees? Take a closer look at projects being done by 42 student design teams, who received $420,000 in grants from EPA to research and develop sustain-able environmental solutions. Students at Southern Illinois University will develop green roofs made of plants for improved storm water management, increased energy conservation, reduced urban heat island effects, and extended roof life - - all of which means saving dollars!..."     >>more

2005:  The Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network (G.R.E.E.N) is "A Collaborative Green Roof Research Project Specific to the Midwest." The Green Roof experiment is an effort between Green Roof Blocks™, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), The University of Georgia, and The University of Missouri at Columbia. The research project is coordinated by Kelly Luckett, president of Green Roof Blocks™, and is being directed by Dr. William Retzlaff of the SIUE Environmental Sciences Program, who now will provide with a bi-monthly column entitled The G.R.E.E.N Research Report (Inaugural Column, June 2006).

Project Objectives:
1)  Evaluate the environmental benefits of green roof implementation.
2)  Evaluate how green roof installation benefits the building owner.
3)  Evaluate the performance of various green roof materials and techniques.
4)  Gather input from and disseminate information to interested parties.

Plant growth, performance, roof coverage, storm water runoff quality, and thermal characteristics will be evaluated over the next 2 years. Research outcomes will be shared with those wishing to establish commercial green roof installations.

Green Roof Blocks™ donated an additional 108 units of its product on September 20, 2005 to the SIUE Engineering Building at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) as Phase II. The university is utilizing the green roof system for research purposes and is part of an eventual 1000 Green Roof Block™ system. The installation follows an initial 16 Green Roof Block™ installation on the SIUE Engineering Building on July 20, 2005.

See the project Profile in The Greenroof Projects Database.  Research information will be posted at as it becomes available or email

Download the following Research Papers in PDF from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville G.R.E.E.N website:

Evaluation of Storm Water Runoff from a Midwest Green Roof System
, by Krista Forrester (2006).

Evaluating Performance of a Green Roof System with Different Growing Mediums, Sedum Species and Fertilizer Treatments, by Julie Gibbs (2006).

Prospective power analysis of green roof stormwater performance factorial experiments, by June M. Jeffries (2005).

Effects of green roof growth medium depths on Sedum immergrauch establishment, by Holly Schaefer (2005).

Additional contact info: Dr. William Retzlaff, Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences Program at SIUe (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville);; 618.650.2728; 618.650.3174 (FAX).  Dr. Bill is our G.R.E.E.N. Editor, see his G.R.E.E.N. Research Report column here.

Kelly Luckett, LEED AP, GRP, President, Saint Louis Metalworks Company;; Green Roof Blocks;  Kelly is The Green Roof Guy, see his column here.

The Green Roof Centre, Sheffield, UK

The Green Roof Centre is a venture undertaken by the University of Sheffield and Groundwork Sheffield, an environmental trust.  The Centre was borne out of the fact that the UK is lagging behind many other part of the world, especially the US and Scandinavia, in its applications of green roofs.  Based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, the Green Roof Centre’s primary remit is to engage and inform construction professionals of the possibilities and benefits of green roofs.  The centre is in the process of establishing an extensive demonstration site where architects, planners and designers alike can experience and understand the opportunities green roofs offer.  The Green Roof Centre operates with partners in the region to demonstrate the potential of green roof uptake in the UK by focusing on the following areas of activity:

Research: providing rigorous and high-quality data on green roof performance across the range of environmental benefits, based on experimental green roofs, and real installations across South Yorkshire.

Demonstration: the Demonstration Centre lies at the core of the Green Roof Centre, and includes examples of the main green roof types, full information on green roof construction and components, a mini-research station showing real-time performance, and inspiring examples of roof gardens and green roof planting options.

Information, Education and Training: the centre provides a central information point and resource for those interested in all aspects of green roof benefits, design, implementation and maintenance.

Policy and Development: working with local authorities, developers and agencies in the region to create a favourable climate for green roof and other sustainable building technologies

Consultancy: providing advice and support on all aspects of green roof design and implementation.

Learn all about the Green Roof Centre's mission, goals and research by visiting; you can also download their Green Roofs Fact Sheet and purchase a Green Roof Pocket Guide in PDF or a printed copy.  Also read the April/May 2007 Guest Feature Article "The Green Roof Centre - Sheffield, UK" by Jeff Sorrill, Project Manager. 

DIY GREEN ROOFS, The Green Roof Forum.  Part-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund, the Green Roof Centre has produced a very informative and useful leaflet for do-it-yourselfers.  The Green Roof Centre includes founding members from The University of Sheffield, Groundwork Sheffield, and the Sheffield City Council.  "This guide aims to outline some of the principles, directing and assisting you on how to build a simple, light-weight DIY green roof."  Download the DIY GREEN ROOFS, The Green Roof Forum PDF here.  To learn more about the Green Roof Forum, visit

The Green Roof Infrastructure Demonstration Project, Toronto, CA
2000:  According to Canada's National Research Council website, "The Green Roof Infrastructure Demonstration Project is a $1 million public-private partnership between NRC's Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC), Environment Canada, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the City of Toronto, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and the Technology Early Action Measures component of the Government of Canada's Climate Change Action Fund."

Two green roof sites are monitored for energy consumption, improvement of air quality and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: the publicly accessible Toronto City Hall podium roof and Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre also located in Toronto.  Read the article and read about the project under the Green Roofs For Healthy Cities website.

Greenbacks from Green Roofs: Forging a New Industry in Canada
1999:  This report was prepared by Steven W. Peck, Chris Callaghan, Monica E. Kuhn, and Dr. Brad Bass in March 1999 for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on the barriers and opportunities related to expanding the market for green roofs.  Research data is available from quoted studies and sources for acoustical properties, air cleansing, energy costs savings using illustrative data, insulation value examples, carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange, stormwater, and more.

National Research Council/Environment Canada
2003:  Bas Baskaran of the National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Research in Construction and Brad Bass of Environment Canada's Adaptation & Impacts Group offer "Evaluating Rooftop and Vertical Gardens as an Adaptation Strategy for Urban Areas" released 9.18.03.  Specifically, the 111-page PDF contains studies and data conducted from April, 1999 through March, 2001 regarding reduction of stormwater runoff, cooling loads and the urban heat island and projected greenroof infrastructure market penetration in a Canadian context.

National Research Council of Canada/The Rooftop Garden Consortium
2000:  NRC's Institute for Research in Construction
and the Rooftop Garden Consortium (members include Bakor, Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA), Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF), EMCO, Environment Canada, Garland, Hydrotech, IKO, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), Roofing Consultants Institute (RCI), Soprema, and Tremco). IRC constructed a field roofing facility on the NRC campus - one side green and one reference roof. Both roofs are instrumented to measure the following: temperature profile, heat flow, solar reflectance, soil moisture, rooftop microclimate, storm water runoff. Local meteorological data are also monitored continuously by two weather stations-one located on the divider between the two roofs, the other near the site

The project continues as more data will be collected to further evaluate the thermal performance of roof gardens and to quantify their storm water management potential. See the thermal data from NRC above under "Public/Government."  Specific questions about the rooftop garden project can be directed to Dr. Karen Liu at 613.993.4584, fax 613. 954.5984, or e-mail

Going green - A National Research Council Canada evaluates green roof systems'  thermal performances
Professional Roofing Magazine, by Karen Liu, Ph.D.
September, 2002

Roofing in Canada
Professional Roofing,
by Peter Kalinger
February, 2005

The Green Roof Stormwater Model
2006:  Green Roof Stormwater Model Makes Its Debut
  Earth Pledge introduced the Green Roof Stormwater Model at the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Annual Conference and Trade Show in Boston on May 12, 2006.  This analytical model simulates stormwater management performance of specified green roof systems.  Earth Pledge developed the model with support from the New York City Water Board to assess the potential impact of green roof development on stormwater pollution in lower Manhattan.  The model projects retention and detention rates for green roofs and their effect on Combined Sewage Outflow (CSO) volume and frequency on a specific sub-basin.  Earth Pledge is preparing to expand the model to include other drainage basins in New York and 16 other U.S. cities. This model will be particularly useful in developing green roof policy rationale to mitigate stormwater problems and quantify proposed green roof retention and detention to meet regulations.

Learn more about EP's Green Roofs Initiative at

New York Ecological Infrastructure Study (NYEIS)
2004:  The New York Ecological Infrastructure Study (NYEIS) is a multidisciplinary partnership investigating the form and function of an “ecological infrastructure” – including green roofs – for New York City’s built environment and landscape. A project of the Earth Pledge Green Roofs Initiative, the NYEIS will provide policymakers with a set of analyses that will help determine the impacts, benefits and costs of green roof development in the New York metropolitan area.  A distinct project team is responsible for each research area – climate, energy, hydrology, health, design, policy and cost-benefit – coordinating with other teams to develop research based around common green roof and ecological infrastructure scenarios. Earth Pledge coordinates the NYEIS, and research leaders include Dr. William Solecki of Hunter College/ CUNY and Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

2004 activities:

NYC Green Roof Stormwater Models: NYEIS researchers are developing a pair of stormwater models on green roof development in Lower Manhattan, providing the first hard data on green roof stormwater retention and detention with New York City climate and sewerage data. The stormwater models complement the development of an instrumented and monitored green roof project at Pace University in Lower Manhattan. The Gaia Institute and Hydroqual, Inc. are developing the models in conjunction with Earth Pledge and the partners on the Pace University green roof project. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Altria Corporation have provided funding for the development of these models.

Gratz Industries Green Roof Test Site: Pratt Institute, working with Balmori Associates and the NYEIS, is to receive funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop a test green roof site atop the Gratz Industries building in Long Island City, Queens. Earth Pledge, NASA/ Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health are undertaking the instrumenting of the green roof. Construction on the project is expected to begin Spring 2004.

Interim Report: In June 2004, NYEIS was scheduled to release an interim report of preliminary findings in each of its research areas. The report will be made available on and as a downloadable PDF; it will also be released on CD and in print. The publication of the report is made possible through the generous support of Theodore Kheel and Nurture New York's Nature (

For more information on the New York Ecological Infrastructure Study, please visit, or visit the Earth Pledge Green Roofs Initiative at or

The GreenSave Life Cycle Cost Calculator - Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, TREMCO Roofing and Building Maintenance, and the Athena Institute
This Life-Cycle Cost-Benefit Tool Enables Industry Professionals and Building Owners to Better Understand the Benefits of Green Roofs over the Long Term (July 11, 2007) Toronto, Canada

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, in partnership with the Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance and the Athena Institute, is pleased to announce the launch of the GreenSave Calculator. The GreenSave Calculator is the first web-enabled Life-Cycle Cost-Benefit tool that enables professionals such as architects, designers, engineers, developers and building owners to compare the short- and long-term costs and benefits of green roofs and conventional roofs.

“For years, we’ve been researching the multiple benefits of green roofs. Now for the first time we have a practical tool, the GreenSave Calculator, that can incorporate many of these benefits into the decision making process”, said Steven Peck, President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities."  “Tremco has supported the initial development of this important tool as part of our continuing dedication to bringing our customers the latest products and services to simplify their roofing decisions. We see a bright future for green roofs and plan to be a big part of it”, said Ralph Velasquez, Sustainable Technologies Manager, Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance.

“The value of the GreenSave Calculator is that it allows users to be much better informed about the costs and benefits associated with green roofs and conventional roofing systems within a robust life-cycle cost analysis environment,” said Jamie Meil, co-founder and director of the Athena Institute.  The GreenSave Calculator was designed under the leadership of Velasquez, the members of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ Life-Cycle Cost-Benefit Sub-Committee, and the Athena Institute.

The GreenSave Calculator facilitates detailed comparisons of up to three different roofing options over the defined life-span of the project (typically ranging from 25 to 60 years), providing a more accurate, comprehensive picture of the long range impacts of each option. Among the many elements that can be considered are the life-cycle study period, discount rate, general and energy price inflation, investment cost data, residual or resale value, recurring operating and maintenance and replacement costs. The GreenSave Calculator is also capable of capturing other possible roof benefits such as storm water and heat island mitigation, extended roof durability, related energy costs and savings, development fee savings, marketing benefits, increased rental income and tenant health and productivity improvements that can be ascribed to a roofing system. With the online availability of Version I, the Life-Cycle Cost-Benefit Committee will continue to enhance the breadth and scope of the GreenSave Calculator in the months to come.  See the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Launches GreenSave Calculator on Web Site Press Release.