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September 21, 2023

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Student Green Fund and Chartwells money funds Green Roof at Oaks Dining Hall

The Oaks Dining Hall is offering Green Roof tours at the University to continue to promote an environment-friendly campus.

Campus Sustainability Assistant Lance Kruse helped to install the Green Roof and currently gives the tours.

The Green Roof feature of The Oaks is located above Dunkin’ Donuts and became the first dining hall in Ohio to have one upon its installation in 2011, according to Kruse.

Kruse also said that the Student Green Fund paid for half of the project and Chartwells paid for the other half.

Over 300 people attended a Green Roof tour last summer, according to Kruse. They were mostly faculty and staff members from various departments across campus such as the library and construction management.

However, other groups such as sixth graders from the Falcon Millionaire day camp also participated in the tour. The objective of the camp is to educate children on money management and business skills. The Green Roof tour for this group was designed to show the children ways to conduct business in an environment-friendly manner, according to Kruse.

Tours are free of charge and can be arranged by emailing [email protected]. The tours can accommodate groups of up to 30 people and the duration can vary depending on the group. Kruse said a typical tour usually lasts between 10 and 15 minutes.

One of the main components of the Green Roof is sedum, which is a variety of small plants that typically require little or no water.

“They do not require a lot of maintenance, but they absorb water,” Kruse said.

In addition, the “live panels” of the Green Roof are composed of the sedum, according to Campus Sustainability Coordinator Nicholas Hennessy.

Hennessy said that a live Green Roof insulates the roof, which keeps the area beneath it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

“It can make Dunkin’ Donuts two to six degrees cooler in the summer,” Kruse said.

Moreover, the entire roof contains a rainwater retention system that stores water during storms. As a result, the water is kept for irrigation for the Green Roof plants and also used for the bathrooms. The retention system has reduced water usage by 35 percent, according to Kruse.

Green Roof facilities were mostly innovated in larger cities such as New York, but are now starting to be used in a wider variety of areas, according to Kruse.

“They’re relatively new, but they are starting to catch on in smaller areas,” he said.

All in all, Hennessy thinks that the tours are an effective way of introducing the public to some of the efforts that the University is making to produce a more environment-friendly campus.

“The tours are a great way to show the community what a ‘living’ green roof is,” Hennessey said. “I think it’s a great idea for the community to learn and see all of the sustainability projects and initiatives that the University is working on.”

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