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Sustainability Fund Projects

The Colburn Green Roof

Colburn Green Roof trays

Project Manager: Dr. Annette Shine, Chemical Engineering

Grant Awarded: 2010

Amount of Grant: $7,500

Funds leveraged: The initial Sustainability Fund Grant was able to leverage an additional $50,000 in grants for this map of Colburn locationproject - $10,000 from the UD Energy Institute in July 2010, and an additional $40,000 in December 2010 from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Overview: The objective of this project is to construct a green roof above the classroom in Room 102 in Colburn Laboratory in the College of Engineering – which is uncomfortably hot most of the year - inorder to regulate the classroom’s climate, among other benefits (such as reduced storm water runoff, reduced CO2  emissions, etc.).


The roof will be the first in Delaware that is easily visible and accessible to the public.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

GREEN ROOF

Room 102 in Colburn Laboratory in the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware is often an unpleasant place to learn and teach.  Because the classroom is located in a single-story building, with a 40 foot south-facing outside wall, the room is often uncomfortably hot during the period from October to April, when no air conditioning is available.  This project aims to implement a sustainable solution to the indoor climate problem of Colburn 102 by installing a green roof atop the classroom. We believe that it is essential to demonstrate in a tangible way to engineering students and the community at large that sustainable solutions to engineering problems can be technically possible, economically feasible and visually appealing.

Project Goals:

While the primary intention of the green roof is to improve classroom climate, other environmental benefits are expected, such as: reduced storm water runoff (10,000 cu. ft. annually), reduced CO2 emissions (1.1 metric ton per year) through energy savings, and improved aesthetics.  The roof will be the first in Delaware that is easily visible and accessible to the public.  The green roof will be planted in small modular sections, so members of the UD community and the wider community are aiding in planting individual modules (e.g., through Earth Week and Ag Day activities).

Current status:

As of March 2011, UD students have vegetated about 200 square feet of hardy Sedums that are ready for installation on the Colburn roof, and that serve as the source of future propagations.  An access door and safety railing have been designed for the roof, and are awaiting installation. The weather station on the Colburn Lab classroom roof will be repositioned in mid-April with installation of the roof access door and about 40 mature greenroof plant trays. Additionally, DNREC has committed further funding for this project. In Fall 2011 about 2,000 sq. ft. of planted modules are scheduled to be installed.

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