Green roof

A green roof has been designed and implemented on top of the Rappahannock Parking deck roof at the George Mason University Fairfax campus, VA by the research team in collaboration with students and faculty from the Mason Geography and GeoInformation Science Department. The green roof design consists of two 8ft by 12ft and 2ft high tables made of timber wood with identical components. One of the two tables is equipped with solar power panels mounted on top of the pallets. Each table has 15 squared pallets of 26-inch dimension:

  • One row consists of Shenandoah sedum vegetation with 6-inch soil depth;
  • The second and third rows have mixed green vegetation with depths of 4 inches and 3.3 inches, respectively.
  • The forth row has 3 bare soil pallets with the 3 different depths.
  • The last row is the “do nothing” experimental control that consists of three typical building roof top covers: asphalt shingles, a white vinyl liner, and a wooden half inch oriented strand board.

Buckets are placed underneath each pallet to collect stormwater runoff, whose quality is tested after each rainfall event. One weather station is also located on site and includes two wind speed and direction devices, one rain gauge, humidity meter, temperature sensor, and solar radiation. The solar panels mounted on top of one of the two tables are not only used to reduce vegetation sun exposure, but also to generate power to operate the weather station, sensors, and the data loggers that record all measurements, including soil moisture, temperature, heat flux, precipitation, and wind speed and direction. Stormwater quality has been monitored after each rainfall event, in terms of conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, and water temperature. 

Funded by Dominion Foundation and Patriot Green Fund

Team: Dr. Houser (GGS), Dr. Maggioni, Giorgio Barchitta, Alia Gholoom, Jeremy Johnston, Travis Richardson, Andy Sachs (GGS), Michael Sowell