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College Roofing Goes Green

When people are constructing a house, office or some other kind of building, it certainly wouldn’t be complete without a roof. These days, there are all kinds of options to choose from. There are the traditional shingles. Then there are tile and slate. There are the ever-growing-in-popularity wood shakes. Oh, and there is also the kind of roofing that has a bit of an eco-friendly twist to it. It’s what is known as “green roofing”.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a green roof is basically a roof that provides space for things like greenery and vegetation to grow on it without disrupting the urban infrastructure of a building; the “negative space” that is on top of the particular house, office building or, as this article will explore, school, is filled with plants or a garden in order to make productive use of the area. Over time, it has been proven that going with a green roof significantly reduces energy costs due to its natural insulation, that it absorbs storm water (which is an effective irrigation tool) and provides a peaceful and serene atmosphere for both people and pets.

For these reasons (and more), there are several colleges that are opting for green roofs on their campuses. As a matter of fact, there are currently 20 schools that have been receiving some high praise and solid press for taking the initiative to modernize their institutions in this way including Princeton University, Oberlin College, Harvard University, Colorado State University and Cornell University, just to name a few.

When it comes to what these colleges and universities are doing with their green roofs, the possibilities are endless. Duke University is another school that made the Top 20 list. It actually has an award-winning green roof at Duke University Hospital due to its extensively creative design and the success that it has received in being able to conserve more of the energy within that building. Another school on the list is the University of Washington. It has several beautiful green roofs on its campus but it doesn’t just use them for aesthetics’ sake. Their roofs are also used to perform thorough scientific research. Still, another is Evergreen State College. The name alone should make it no surprise that it consistently earns the reputation for being one of the greenest colleges in the United States. Their Seminar II Building is LEED gold certified and back in 2005, it won the Green Roof Award of Excellence due to the magnificence of its design.

While discovering all of the schools that are making some solid and promising eco-friendly strides in this manner, we should not be surprised if we start to see more schools following this trend. Whether it’s to provide something beautiful to look at while sitting in class, or it’s the site for some agricultural studies or schools are building them to keep water and energy levels down, all of these are good reasons to get involved in this kind of effort.

So, as a student, whether you’re living on campus or getting an online masters degree in counseling, if you don’t have a green roof on your school yet, perhaps consider getting a petition together at your college or university to formally request one. It’s a beautiful way to save energy and money, and that ultimately makes college a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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