Notre Dame receives Green Roof Stormwater award

During the 2022 annual meeting of the Rainwater Consortium known as the Indiana MS4 Partnership, the University of Notre Dame was awarded the New Municipal Management Best Practices Award for the Joyce Center Green Roof Project. Green roofs are part of Notre Dame’s sustainability strategy and the overall goal of protecting and preserving water, energy and natural resources. Green roofs provide many benefits to the environment, and mitigating rainwater run-off is one of them.

The Joyce Center green roof project totals 79,096 square feet, the largest in Indiana and among any higher education institution in the United States In addition to the Joyce Center green roof, Duncan Student Center, Corbett Family Hall and O’Neill Hall are home to nearly 43,000 square feet of green roof area combined.

Installing green roofs is one of the strategies in the university’s overall sustainability strategy to halve its carbon footprint by 2030, announced by Reverend John A. Jenkins, CSC, in September 2015 in response to Pope Francis’ publication Laudato Si.

“In addition to saving energy and improving rainwater runoff, this green roof will also contribute to the natural beauty of our campus while replicating the design of our quads.”
John Affleck Graves,
Executive Vice President

“The university is firmly committed to being a good steward of our natural resources,” said John Affleck Greaves, Executive Vice President. “In addition to saving energy and improving rainwater runoff, this green roof will also contribute to the natural beauty of our campus while replicating the design of our quads.”

The Joyce Center green roof was designed and planted by LiveRoof of Spring Lake, Michigan, and installed by Midland Engineering Corporation in South Bend. In total, the design makes up 32,798 trays of plants. The design consists of 25 plant species, including 22 species of sedum. A rooftop irrigation system has also been installed.

Green roofs provide immediate and long-term benefits to the structure and the surrounding environment. They have been shown to reduce storm water runoff, improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, provide noise insulation, and provide natural insulation to keep indoor temperatures low during warm months and higher in cold months, and conserve rainwater for release back into the atmosphere.

The green roof also protects the roof surface from UV rays, limiting image degradation of roof components. It is estimated that a JOYS Center green roof could extend the life expectancy of an existing roof membrane by 200 to 300 percent.

The green roofs of Notre Dame address the conservation of water, energy and other natural resources. By implementing green roofs, the university ensures that water sources are well protected and recharged naturally.

University of Notre Dame – Joyce Center

Read more: The largest rooftop green space in Indiana lives above the Joyce Center in Notre Dame – Notre Dame News

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