Centennial Gets First Green Roof

North Carolina State University recently completed installation of a 3,780-square-foot green roof at the new Engineering Building III on the university’s Centennial Campus.

The unique green feature, which tops the building’s high bay annex, consists of 10 different drought resistant plants and will save the university an estimated 25-50 percent on heating and cooling costs. The roof creates a physically pleasing environment that retains more rainfall, eliminates the need for weed control and therefore negates the need to use harsh chemicals. In addition, green roofs are estimated to reduce noise pollution by 10 decibels.

The roof is part of an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the university. To that end, the campus has said all new buildings will be built to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – Silver standards.

Led by building environmental supervisor Rick Hilburn of Grounds Management, crews installed 152 rolls of vegetation mat that weighed 70-80 pounds each.

“We strive to meet LEED standards and hope others will join in our commitment to ‘go green’,” Hilburn said.

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library, which is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2012, is next on the list to receive a green roof. The project will be much larger than the engineering building installation and NC State’s first green roof, located at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center at the JC Raulston Arboretum. That building opened in 2002.

Engineering Building III is slated to open this summer and will house the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Joint NCSU/UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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