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May 26, 2007 Rooftop study gets green light Auckland from, by Lisa Sloan; the 9 May 2007 Press Release: University of Auckland Study to explore best green roof design; September 18, 2006 Roof top research could pave the way for greener buildings by the University of Auckland.

Auckland University boasts Auckland’s first greenroof, constructed on top of the Engineering School, Building 401, 20 Symonds Street in September, 2006 with funding from the Auckland Regional Council (ARC). Dr. Elizabeth Fassman, a lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering, lead the project along with Dr. Robyn Simcock, an ecologist with Landcare Research.

It is funded by the ARC and the aim is to develop a blueprint for new construction or retrofitting green roofs throughout the city. While the initial focus is on commercial buildings, it may eventually lead to residential applications. The roof has been divided into six plots with different combinations of lightweight mediums being trialled in each, including pumice, zeolite, imported expanded clay and bark fines.

The plots have been planted with 3,600 plants, a combination of natives and sedums, or succulents, selected for their hardiness and ability to withstand droughts or floods. The plant palette consists of natives and non-natives; native plants include beech, dune grasses and New Zealand ice plants.

PhD student Emily Voyde received a three year grant to study greenroofs here, a government-funded top achiever doctoral scholarship. In a Press Release, see below, Emily says, “My goal is to find the most effective combination of plants and substrates that release the most amount of water back into the atmosphere in Auckland’s conditions.”

Emily will focus on native plants and locally sourced substrates for theUniversity of Auckland Engineering Building, such as pumice and zeolites. According to (see below), Emily’s study will help the university produce green roof guidelines for the regional council.


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