University Implements Extensive Green Roof

AAR University Green Roof
April 9, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cayden Wemple.  

As part of their plan to become carbon neutral by 2030, the University of Denver has installed a green roof for their Community Commons building. 

The popularity and rise of green roofs is certainly undeniable and the University of Denver has decided to partake in this environmentally friendly and sustainable trend. Green roofs have multiple purposes that are beneficial for our environment such as keeping buildings cool, lowering energy consumption and absorbing rainwater. Another positive feature of green roofs is that they enable plants to capture and store carbon dioxide, which is recognized as one of the key drivers of climate change

Not only is the roof a great, green new addition to the campus, it’s also very easy on the eye. A floor-to-ceiling glass pavilion is encircled by multiple garden beds containing several plant variants, including tall native grasses that sway in the breeze. These grasses not only enhance the scenic beauty of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west and the downtown Denver skyline to the north, but also add to the overall scenic sight. University architect, Mark Rodgers, told University of Denver Magazine that the addition of the green roof is meant to “cut out the foreground of the houses and built structures; and [one can] just see the tops of trees, and then the mountains beyond and hopefully the beautiful sunsets.” 

This technically isn’t the first green building that Mark has constructed within the university system. The new green roof is one of three green roofs already integrated into the university’s campus, but this is by far the most complex one. "Both of those roofs I would not consider to be anything close to the complexity, the ambition or the public-natured showcasing that we’ve done at the Community Commons,” Mark says.  

The inception of the green roof at the Community Commons was a direct result of the 2017 green roof law that was approved by Denver voters. This law mandated that all new buildings of a particular size incorporate green spaces and was subsequently expanded to encompass other sustainable construction measures, such as the installation of solar panels. The Community Commons stands as a testament to the city's unwavering commitment to promoting eco-friendly and sustainable urban development. 

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About Cayden  

Cayden is a reporter for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When he isn’t writing about roofs, he’s usually playing guitar or writing songs for his musical endeavors.

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