Citizen Leadership and Social Issues Rotating Header Image

February 2nd, 2014:

Green Roofs at Longwood University

Molly Baneck
ENGL 400-16
Dr. Mulligan
Blog Post 1
At Longwood University in Farmville Virginia, campus is heated by burning sawdust, called biomass, to create heat and hot water to power the university using steam. Longwood buys sawdust from local saw mills, which has proven to help the economy of Farmville Virginia by keeping money local. Initially Longwood was heated with coal, but 30 years ago the new boilers were introduced and powered by burning sawdust. This new method of heating water and campus buildings became an important green movement that the university is very proud of.
One important detail that may have been considered when the university moved to biomass fueling is that, although more green than coil, burning wood releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. I propose to continue the efforts of the university to become a green campus. Green Roofs are essentially gardens built on a man-made structure. These green roofs are layered with water resistant materials and drainage systems.
The benefits of green roof systems are many. Typically, the materials used to build the layers required to have a green roof are recycled and therefore kept from landfills. Additionally green roofs provide excellent insulation for buildings. Rain water is filtered through the plants, however most of the rain water is held and used by the plants and grasses to later be evaporated. The benefits a green roof would have on Longwood’s campus are twofold.
First, because the green roofs reduce the need for heating and energy use, the biomass burning would reduce and save money. Second, plants absorb CO2 released from biomass burning and release oxygen, creating cleaner air. It would be most beneficial to have a green roof on all buildings on campus, but that would be a very expensive project. I propose that a green roof made constructed on the roof of Dorill Dining hall. Dorill Dining hall would be the best place to construct a green roof because it is the closest building to the heating plant where the biomass is burned.