Aggie 'green roof' initiative saves energy, stimulates research (click to read the full article)
Volder, associate professor of horticultural sciences, and Don Conlee, associate professor of meteorology, Dvorak received a grant of $300,000 from the University in 2012 to be dispensed over three years. The grant was intended to kick-start a research project aimed at understanding and building green roofs.*Note: The original Battalian story misreported the grant amount. Some wording from the original article has been changed for clarification in this post.
In conjunction with Dvorak, Volder has overseen the selection of plants best suited for green roofs and subsequently studied their performance over the research period. Conlee supervised the installation of various sensors and weather apparatuses to keep track of the changes in the environment. The data from all the sensors is stored in an onsite data logger, to be used later in correlation to the maturity of the green roof.
Another highlight of this research project is the keen involvement of the students. Although this project is led by three professors, it is implemented and managed by students. Students from various departments helped assemble the green roof, accumulate the data and analyze it with the help of their mentors to infer results.
The process of building the green roof was accomplished in stages.
"We started in September by placing a waterproof membrane and then putting roof tiles on it,” Dvorak said. “This was to prevent seepage and avoid structural damage. Then we strategically placed the planting modules which consist of media such as soil and gravel necessary for plant growth."...'