Greening a roof, one level at a time

May 23rd, 2011 | admin

Kelley planter boxes replanted Plants growing on a building isn’t typically a desired outcome, but on 5/17, students, staff and Horticulture faculty were encouraging just that in planter boxes atop the Kelley Engineering Center’s 3rd floor roof.  Throughout the day they fixed irrigation lines, weeded, topped off soil and replanted the boxes with a mix of native and drought-tolerant grasses, sedums and other perennials.  Stop by to take a look at their great handiwork from the west end of the 4th floor of Kelley.

Later this year, it is expected that Kelley will have a 1,000 sq. ft. green roof installed in an area adjacent to the planters.  Vegetating the roof increases building insulation, extends the life of the membrane, helps filter and retain stormwater, provides habitat, and improves the aesthetic of the space.

The event was a collaboration of the Student Sustainability Initiative, who provided funding for the plantings, the Department of Horticulture, and the OSU Sustainability Office.

3 Responses to “Greening a roof, one level at a time”

  1. Greg says:

    We could definitely grow edibles on Kelley, as its structural strength would allow for a deeper soil profile. We’d also thought about doing herbs as they are 1) low maintenance 2) would work well in the roof-top climate and 3) are used in small amounts, whereas lettuces would require a lot of space, depending on the need of the cafe/restaurant.

    This is a conversation that should be continued between Facilities, Hort & UHDS!

  2. Rich Turnbull says:

    The Kelley Roof garden seems to be a perfect place to grow salad fixings for eCafe. Is that a possibility for future plantings?

  3. Greg says:

    Some people had asked about what was planted. Here’s the plant list (N=native to Oregon):

    Ratibida columnifera – Mexican hat
    Penstemon hartnegii
    Sedum Spathulifolium
    Artemisia schmidtiana – silver mound
    Lewisia cotyledon
    Delosperma cooperi – ice plant
    Asclepias speciosa – Showy Milkweed (N)
    Erysimum capitatum – Sanddune Wallflower (N)
    Koeleria macrantha – Prairie Koeler’s Grass (N)
    Madia elegans – Common Madia (N)
    Potentilla gracilis – graceful cinquefoil (N)
    Sisyrinchium idahoense – Idaho Blue-eyed Grass (N)