The Catholic University of America

Nov. 14, 2012

Catholic University Adds 3rd Green Roof on Campus


The green roof alongside solar panels on top of Aquinas Hall.

The Catholic University of America has installed its third green roof on campus as part of the University’s efforts to foster sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The 1,488-square-foot installation — a variety of sedum plants — was placed last month alongside the solar panels on the roof of Aquinas Hall. The University’s other installations are on the roofs of Father O’Connell Hall and the Columbus School of Law parking garage.

Catholic University’s recently updated master plan calls for the installation of additional green roofs over the next 12 years.

“This is an outgrowth of our commitment to creating a sustainable campus,” says University President John Garvey. “As the national university of the Catholic Church in America, we strive to be a living example of environmental stewardship.”

LiveRoof, LLC ( announced today at the Greenbuild® International Conference and Expo in San Francisco that Catholic University had selected its LiveRoof® Hybrid Green Roof System for the third installation.

Based in Spring Lake, Mich., LiveRoof is the leading horticultural science company in the green roof industry.

At Catholic University, solar panels cover about two-thirds of the roof atop Aquinas. The sedum plants cover the remaining portion of the roof.

Adding a green roof prevents UV radiation and extreme temperatures from degrading the underlying roof membrane (waterproof plastic sheeting) and protects it against damage from airborne debris, says Richard Weil, senior project manager of facilities, planning and construction, Catholic University.

With the addition of the green roof, the underlying structure is expected to last two to three times longer than one without an overlay of plants, notes Weil.

The green roof comprises a variety of sedum plants.


A green roof also holds back stormwater and curtails runoff, says Weil. “Improving stormwater management is essential in the District of Columbia, where storms overtax the capacity of the combined sewer system and pollute the waters of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers.”

Schick Goldstein Architects of Chevy Chase, Md., designed the Aquinas Hall green roof in collaboration with DC Greenworks (, a nonprofit organization that supports low-impact stormwater management projects and urban forestry practices that improve the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Riverbend Nursery Inc. (, the mid-Atlantic regional distributor and grower for LiveRoof, grew the plants for the project. Situated on 100 acres in Riner, Va., Riverbend has 58 acres under production and grows more than 2.5 million containers of plants annually.

“When the roof was installed in October, we delivered the LiveRoof modules full of regionally adapted and locally grown plants that were mature, flourishing, and ready for the rigors of the rooftop,” said Jim Snyder, co-owner and president, Riverbend Nursery. “Installing a green roof with full-grown plants delivers immediate beauty and makes for hassle-free maintenance.”

For more information on other sustainability efforts at Catholic University, visit


The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America, located near the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded by the U.S. bishops in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the University opened as a graduate and research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,700 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 12 schools — architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, social service, and theology and religious studies. For more information, visit

LiveRoof®, LLC
LiveRoof® ( is the top horticultural science company in the green roof industry. Exceptional in design and function, the LiveRoof® Hybrid Green Roof System is the most refined horticultural solution. LiveRoof establishes a healthy, sustainable ecosystem that covers the rooftop with seamless vegetation. Licensed regional growers customize plant selection for every LiveRoof project. They deliver the system’s modules abundantly vegetated with locally cultivated, full-grown plants for an instant green roof and trouble-free ownership. LiveRoof’s natural function and natural beauty offer the highest level of green roof performance with ultra-low maintenance costs. The proof is on the roof — showcased in over 725 installations that total more than 2.3 million square feet. For more information, contact LiveRoof at 800-875-1392.

Media: For more information, contact Katie Lee, Catholic University, at 202-319-6975 or, or David Aquilina, LiveRoof, LLC, at 612-716-5628 or



More news from CUA