The Life Science Center at the University of Missouri Columbia received a new green roof on May 16, 2005. The green roof on Mizzou?s Life Science Center used the modular green roof product called Green Roof Blocks. Green Roof Blocks are aluminum planters that house special engineered soil and drought tolerant sedum plants. The planters are placed side by side to cover rooftops with live plants.Senior Associate Director Michael Chippendale contacted Saint Louis Metalworks Company last November about the possibility of using their Green Roof Blocks to cover one of the roof sections of the new building. Campus Facilities Director of Maintenance Gregory Watts approved the project to dress up the highly visible roof area giving Saint Louis Metalworks Company the green light to donate 28 Green Roof Blocks.Green roofs are typically propagated with seeds or young plants that take several months to cover the roof surface. For this project, however, a campus greenhouse was utilized to allow the plants to mature over the winter months. Now that the spring weather is warming, the planters were placed on the rooftop with vegetation nearly covering the surface of each Block to instantly green the roof.
The two-foot square Green Roof Blocks on the Life Science Center are filled with 4 inches of growth media consisting of blended expanded clay and composted pine bark. Each is propagated with five sedum kamtshaticum floriferum (weihenstephaner gold). This species was chosen for its yellow summer blooms and its significant winter interest. Green Roof Block president Kelly Luckett said, ?We have Weihenstephaner gold on our green roof pavilion for the Missouri Botanical Garden. The open nature of the pavilion exposes the green roof plants to super cooling that really test their cold temperature tolerance. The high visibility of this green roof made plant selections with winter interest an absolute must.?Saint Louis Metalworks Company?s Green Roof Drain was used to conceal the roof drains while providing an elevated pedestal for two Green Roof Blocks planted with some flowering annuals for a splash of summer color. Blocks planted with Dragons Blood sedum species are growing on an adjacent roof area and will replace the annuals for the winter. The university can plant new annuals for next spring to once again add colorful variety to the green roof for the summer months.Green Roof Blocks plant supplier Vic Jost of Jost Greenhouse received the plant stock for this species from Ed Snodgrass of Emory Knoll Farms. Jost Greenhouse continues to work with Emory Knoll Farms to expand the plant selection options for Green Roof Blocks.