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Growing Green

An employee of Prides Corner Farms in Lebanon, Conn., installs the green roof on Cro-Bar. 
June 15, 2011

Connecticut College recently got a touch more green with the installation of a green roof atop the Cro-Bar in the College Center at Crozier-Williams.

Green roofs -- essentially gardens planted on top of buildings -- offer a variety of benefits. They provide additional insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs, absorb rainfall to slow drainage, filter pollutants out of rainwater, extend the life of a roof and offer an attractive view.

The College's green roof started as interlocking pallets in which low, drought-tolerant sedum were grown by Prides Corner Farms Wholesale Nursery in Lebanon, Conn., a licensed provider of the LiveRoof brand system. Once the plants were mature enough, the 2-by-1-foot pallets were taken to the roof by forklift and snapped together to form a 22-by-11-foot garden.

Arboretum staff, including director Glenn Dreyer, assisted in the assembly, as did Brendan Kempf '10, who planted the seed for the project by writing an individual study paper about green roofs in 2008. He followed that up in 2010 with a proposal for the Cro-Bar green roof.

The resulting roof is a smaller version of the large-scale green roofs that provide significant eco-improvements to buildings. "It's a small, educational demonstration project," said Dreyer. And one more green effort in the College Center at Crozier-Williams. "We're already offsetting the carbon emissions from Cro through a forest in Costa Rica," he explained.



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