Loyola’s Green Roof Gives Lake Michigan A Break

Loyola University Chicago is installing a new, fully grown green roof on Cuneo Hall, a recently constructed academic building on its Chicago campus.

“A green roof acts like a natural sponge that absorbs stormwater and curtails runoff,” Aaron Durnbaugh, the university’s director of sustainability, explained in a statement. He went on to note that the university’s Chicago campus is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, which makes reduced runoff a real priority for protecting local water quality.

LiveRoof_Loyola)Mundelien Hall

image via LiveRoof/Loyola University

All evidence would suggest this is a priority the university takes seriously, as the 2,400-square-foot Cuneo Hall installation marks the institution’s seventh green roof project. All of them make use of the LiveRoof Hybrid Green System. Under this system, plants specially selected for the local climate are grown in containers that exactly approximate the dimensions of the destination roof. Plants are grown to full maturity, then shipped via their modular containers and fitted into place. The containers are then removed, allowing for the free flow of water, nutrients and beneficial mico-organisms between plants.

Loyola also tapped LiveRoof — a company based not far away, in Spring Lake, Mich. — for the 7,650-square foot green roof installed on its Mundelein College building (pictured above), a historical landmark on the Loyola University Chicago campus, and the 5,400-square-foot green roof installed on top of its new Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics.

On the day of installation, LiveRoof modules are already fully vegetated with regionally adapted, full-grown plants that are mature, flourishing, and ready for the rigors of the rooftop environment — a plus over roofs that require years to fully grow in and deliver the benefits of a vegetated rooftop system, the company says. More on LiveRoof is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • So glad my alma mater is taking steps to protect our treasure!