As the Natural Resources Coordinator I spend a lot of time in basins inspecting them to ensure that our stormwater control measures are maintained and functioning properly, but occasionally I get to inspect sites that are a bit more exciting. Several of our sites in Cuyahoga County are treating stormwater using green roofs, and I'm the lucky gal who gets to make sure they are working.
Green roofs are essentially plant and soil systems built on the roof of a building with the intent of soaking up stormwater, slowing it down, and absorbing nutrients before releasing the water out through the gutter system to the nearby storm sewer, ditch, or stream. They have many additional benefits including lowered cooling bills in the summer, air quality treatment, as well as noise and sound insulation.
Green roofs can be extensive or intensive. Extensive green roofs are designed for lower maintenance, and are not designed to be interacted with on a regular basis. These roofs use less soil and are lightweight with their soul purpose being for ecological benefits. Intensive green roofs are designed to be interacted with, usually have more plant variety, require more soil, and are heavier. While these still meet the ecological benefits, they also have many social benefits.
You may be surprised by the number of green roofs we have in Cuyahoga County! Next time you are out and about see if you can locate and admire some of these green roofs:
•Cleveland Environmental Center
•Cleveland Convention Center
•Cleveland Hilton Convention Center Hotel
•Cleveland Botanical Garden
•Cleveland Hopkins Airport
•Cleveland Institute of Art
•Cleveland State University Recreation Center
•East Bank of the Flats, Building #7
•Parma Snow Branch Library
•Parmatown Towers - Amenity Center
•Shaker Lakes Nature Center
•Tinkham Veale Center (CWRU)
•Watershed Stewardship Center
Do you know of other green roofs in the county? Please let us know!
Blog author: Elizabeth Hiser, Natural Resources Coordinator