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UNH Green Roof at James Hall

by Doug Bencks

In June, the University of New Hampshire’s James Hall received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its renovation and expansion of the original 1929 academic building. James Hall houses the Department of Earth Science, Natural Resources, and the Environment.

James Hall 1As part of the University of New Hampshire’s efforts to showcase James Hall as a sustainably designed and constructed building, a green roof was installed. The extent of this green roof was very limited because most of the building’s roof is angled (hipped roof with slate and copper building materials) rather than flat roof design.

The university chose a green roof system designed and provided by Weston Solutions of Manchester, NH.

James Hall 2This system is made up of a series of small trays of plants that can be easily moved if necessary to repair the roof below. The plants that were selected are intended to withstand the range of temperature and moisture conditions on a roof in New Hampshire without additional irrigation and very limited weeding and maintenance.
James Hall 3
As part of the James Hall LEED Gold certification, one innovation point was awarded for the educational and research initiative on the green roof. Data is collected and evaluated at two research areas of the James Hall green roof.

About the Author

Doug Bencks is the University Architect and Director of Campus Planning at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). UNH has the oldest endowed sustainability program in higher education in the United States. It is also recognized as one of the top 15 Universities on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report. To learn more about this award winning campus, check out The Sustainable Learning Community, a recent publication detailing the ten-year process of transitioning the campus to a leader in sustainability.