Nevin Center Green Roof

Icon with meadow and tree

Nevin Center Green Roof

Sustainable Landscapes Trail at Cornell University

Beyond the trees at this location is a view of the vegetated surface on the Nevin Welcome Center green roof. These plants were chosen not only for their aesthetic, but also for their practicality.



Why is this site sustainable?

  • Vegetated roof surfaces capture and treat precipitation falling on the building roof, which protects local waterways
  • The layers of soil and plants act as an insulating layer in winter and decrease the cooling demand during the summer
  • Demonstrates a solution to urban heat islands
  • The plantings require no irrigation and very little weeding
  • Riverstone ballast lines the perimeter of the roof, which slows and directs stormwater runoff to storm drains

 NWC Green Roof Construction and Function

  • Riverstone ballast on perimeter of roof slows the flow of stormwater runoff.
  • Vegetation covers 2,786 ft2 of the 4,072 ftroof (68%).
  • The roof is planted with four cultivars of Sedum species for a varied and more interesting appearance. There are equal distributions of Sedum Album‘White Stonecrop’, Spurium ‘White Two-Row Stonecrop’, Spurium ‘John Creech Two-Row Stonecrop’, and Ternatum ‘Wild Stonecrop’.
  • The soil and underlying substrate is designed to capture the moisture and slow the flow of stormwater runoff.
  • Excess runoff from the green roof runoff infiltrates through French drains, which were sized to infiltrate twice the required volume of the 1- and 2-year storm.

Resources reviewed: ppt. presentation on Cornell green buildings, BSN ppt. on, USGBC website, “Green Building Tour Tips and Techniques,” Final LEED review report. (should add link)