Home Campus Ohio U moving to install green roof atop Schoonover Center

Ohio U moving to install green roof atop Schoonover Center

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Ohio University announced last Thursday that it will install a green roof over the Schoonover Center lobby’s roof this spring, which will primarily be used for environmental sustainability research, according to a press release.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, a green roof, also known as a living roof or an eco-roof, is a layer of vegetation, like plants or small trees, planted over on top of a flat or slightly-sloped roof.

The Schoonover green roof will be funded by grants, including a $256,000 grant from Ohio U’s Academic Innovation Accelerator — a grant program that encourages faculty to pursue pilot projects. After the roof is installed, the upkeep will not be sourced from university funds or students’ tuition, said Kim Thompson, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Researchers working on the roof can instead apply for a grant if they need upkeep or improvements,  according to Thompson. Additionally, the project will seek private donations to support ongoing maintenance and programming. 

The roof, which will begin its first phase of installation during Ohio U’s spring break, is a joint project between the College of Arts and Sciences, Scripps College of Communication, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and the Patton College of Education, Thompson said.

“It’s been a truly interdisciplinary process, and the goal is to make it accessible in some way to everyone on campus,” Thompson said. “The green roof will be home to research projects supported by a variety of equipment.”

These projects would include sustainability research, green space design and educational activities among the different colleges using the space.

There will be four plots planted on the roof with research equipment integrated into the space. Students have already completed proposals for how the new space will be set up, using green roof models built by engineering students, Thompson said.

A new student organization, the Green Initiative, will also be involved with the maintenance of the green roof. The organization will propose policies for green infrastructure both on campus and in the city of Athens, in addition to developing a social media presence for the education and advocacy of sustainability and plant biology.

  • Dr. Kim Thomspon (left) Photo from Ohio University. Photo (right) via Wikimedia Commons.

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