West Virginia University Green Roof

What is a Green Roof, Eco-Roof, or Living Roof?

A green roof system is an extension of the existing roof which includes a high quality water proofing and root repellant system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium and plants.

Green roof development involves the creation of "contained" green space on top of a human-made structure. This planted green space could be below, at or above grade, but in all cases the plants are not planted in the "ground'. Green roofs provide a wide range of public and private benefits, one of which is evapotranspiration of rain fall by the plants. The rain that the plants and soil media take up is that much less that contributes to stormwater runoff.

West Virginia University's Green Roofs were constructed in May and June of 2007. There are four green roofs all on various roof tops of Brooks Hall. The following photos were taken in June 2009. The plants are sedums and are very well established.

Photo of WVU green roof

One of four green roofs at WVU. The building structure had to be reinforced to handle the extra weight of soil and water. Green roofs can increase the life of a roof and provide energy savings for the building.

Close up photo of sedums growing on WVU's Green Roof

Sedums in bloom. There are several varieties of sedums on this green roof.

Photo of green roof at WVU, view from an upper floor looking down

Looking down from an upper floor. The Monongahela River is visible in the background.

The overall reaction has been very positive. Officials at WVU consider the green roof an outstanding success and would do it again.

For more information about green roofs visit Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

The city of Portland, Oregon has a web page for their Eco-Roof Program that contains interesting and helpful information.