Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Thomas Jewell




green, architecture, sustainability, eco-friendly


A green roof is the construction of protective layers and vegetation on the roof of a building. Green roofs are capable of providing ecological benefits to the environment as well as economic advantages for the client. Therefore, my thesis will explore the characterization features of green roofs by focusing on the layers they are made up of, the different types of green roofs, and the benefits they can provide. Although this technology is relatively new to the United States in comparison to places such as Germany, where green roofs have been extensively used for over 40 years, there is a great push by the sustainability movement to implement them around the United States. One particular area where green roofs are gaining a strong foothold is in major cities and urban areas due to their ability to: mitigate storm water runoff and the heat island effect; provide a habitat for wildlife, purify the air, and act as a noise reduction; and result in energy savings and an expanded lifespan. Because of these advantages, colleges and universities are also pushing for their construction. Therefore, using available literature and appropriate case studies, I determined whether it would be beneficial for Union College to implement a green roof on one of the buildings (College Park Hall) and concluded that despite many ecological benefits that would be provided from its construction, in terms of an economic standpoint, it would not be cost effective for the College.