Watch: ‘If you can dream it up, Ohio State has the resources to make it happen’

Megan Welsh Meier videoIf you’re interested in green roofs, if you’re interested in studying and working in a green industry, if you’re interested in doing that studying at Ohio State in CFAES, or if you just want to hear a good story about a successful graduate who loved her time here and is doing good work now because of it, then check out this new YouTube video (2:29).


Green horizons at Ohio State

As  Ohio State  moves toward more sustainable practices, green roofs can be one way to achieve this. A green roof is also known as a rooftop garden, and is a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop. Green roofs can provide numerous benefits both environmentally and economically that can help the city of Columbus decrease its overall impact on the surrounding environment. Benefits include a reduction the Urban Heat Island Effect, improved air quality, decreased stormwater runoff, and decreased energy use. The addition of a green roof will also significantly increase roof lifespan and decrease utility bills.

Although a green roof is in the planning stages for Howlett Hall, Ohio State remains the only Big Ten University that does not have a single green roof or a green roof research facility. In addition, governments in other countries have also been implementing green roofs in urban areas. For example, Germany has been a leader in green roof construction since the 1980s. With the growing popularity of adopting green roofs and green roof policies, and with green roofs fitting in perfectly with the university’s ideas regarding sustainability, why hasn’t Ohio State progressed further?

We propose that The Ohio State University One Framework Plan include a policy that would mandate that all suitable existing roofs that are undergoing roof replacement should be replaced with green roofs, and that all suitable new construction should involve the implementation of green roofs. We conducted a case study of Hitchcock Hall and discovered that the implementation of a green roof would result in a savings of roughly $100,000 over the lifespan of the roof. The benefits gained from the implementation of a green roof policy would allow Ohio State to become a leader in sustainability to ensure the future well-being of the university.

Photo of Grange Insurance Audubon Center's green roof in Columbus courtesy of Megan Welsh


Planning going strong for campus green roof


West elevation of Howlett green roof

Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens will install a 10,000 square-foot green roof on Howlett Hall next fall. Benefits include mitigation of storm water runoff to the Olentangy River, increased biodiversity, and energy savings, aligning with the University Sustainability Plan. Perhaps the defining quality of this green roof is its location. Accessible from 139 Howlett Hall — just beyond the front doors of the building — the green roof will be the first of its kind in Columbus – and a tremendous resource for education, industry advancement, and research. See more at

Howlett Green Roof Project moving forward

Mary Maloney, director of Chadwick Arboretum, shared her vision of the Howlett Hall Green Roof Project in the latest issue of onCampus. We love the way it begins: “For the past two or three years, Mary Maloney has been seeing things that aren’t there.” Read the article at

Architectural drawing of Howlett Hall Roof Garden