Green Roof At Beloit College

Going Green Innovative Roof Project at the College

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:44 PM CDT

By Hillary Gavan
Daily News staff writer

Corporate Contractors Inc. (CCI) began installing a GreenGrid Modular Green Roof System at the Beloit College Center for the Sciences Wednesday.

A 85-ton crane with a 200-foot boom was hoisting up GreenGrid modules as roofers scurried to get them into place by sundown.

The Center for the Sciences will house the biology,chemistry, geology, math and computer science, psychology and physics departments at Beloit College. Located on what was once Emerson Street, the facility is a LEED certified green building.

Approximately 6,000 square feet of the 26,000-square-foot roof will be filled with GreenGrid modules and3,000square feetofspace will be reserved for walking paths.

Created by engineering, roofing and horticultural experts, the roofing system includes lightweight GreenGrid modules that arrive at the site pre-planted and ready to install. They can be arranged to s uit the needs of the client. M odules can be moved if roof repair or maintenance is needed and replaced again.

CCI project managers Bob Carlson and David Rowe said that 800 modules holding 20 types of grass,includingvariousspecies ofsedum,arebeinginstalledontheroofoftheCenterforthe Sciences. Sedum are drought and cold hardy and can thrive in a thin growth medium.

The garden-top roofing system will reduce the need for air conditioning and the associated energy use,cost and emissions.The vegetative roof will prevent storm water run-off.The system c an als o extend roof life by protec ting roof membranes from UV radiation, extreme temperature fluctuations, punctures or other damages.

Carlson explained that 95 percent of s torm water on the roof will be reduced.

Once complete the rooftop will not only serve as a place for biology labs for students but will beagatheringplace.OnWednesdaycrews werepickinguptelescopebasesfromtheformer science building to the south and installing them in the new observation deck at the Center for theSciences.

CCI Roofing Superintendent James Hottenstein started the garden project back in December. Carlson said Hottenstein dealt with many challenges including snow and sleet as well as other subcontractors moving equipment on other parts of the roof.

Because of the tight time line, C arlson said that rooftop garden installers had to work simultaneously with iron workers and other subcontrac tors .