A local problem with Kenton County in Independence, Kentucky is improving old school buildings into energy efficient buildings. There was a building in Kenton County that was just renovated from a vocational school into a building to hold three academies: the Edgewood Campus Building. The building is 37 years old with inefficient features such as windows, door, and insulation. We have a solution for the Edgewood Campus Building, a vegetative roof to help reduce storm water runoff and the cooling cost. A vegetative roof is roofing system with vegetation on top acts like a sponge to absorb storm water. There are two different types of vegetative roofs: Extensive and Intensive. An Extensive vegetative roof can be on either metal or concrete decking with minimal maintenance required. An Intensive vegetative roof can only be on concrete decking with additional maintenance required. Along with installing a vegetative roof, we would be able to reduce storm water runoff by the plants absorbing the storm water and filtering it.
The history of a vegetative roof is that it has been used for centuries and is common in Europe. The economics of a vegetative roof are the savings on the cooling cost and not replacing the roof as often due to the reduction of the Heat Island Effect. The social implication of a vegetative roof is the maintenance of the vegetative roof. The political implications of a vegetative roof are tax incentives and LEED points. Some consequences of a vegetative roof are maintenance, cost of the vegetative roof, leaks, and wildlife. If a vegetative roof is improperly maintenance, weeds can take over and can cause the roof to cave in if there is too much load. The cost is also an issue because it costs $8-40 per square foot. If the vegetative roof is improperly installed leaks could happen making the roof become saturated with water. The risk of wildlife on a vegetative roof is an issue because there are animals that can burrow into the soil, breaking the lining of the vegetative roof. With a vegetative roof, the plants on the roof would help reduce the air pollutions decreasing the chances of cancer, increasing clean air, and better water sanitation.
The people who helped us with the vegetative roof project are David Hart from Tremco, Danny Mann who is the Construction Manager for the Kenton County School District, and Chris Baker who is the Energy Manager for the Kenton County School District.