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Princeton University plants green roofs

August 13, 2009
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PRINCETON, NJ — Three new dormitories at Princeton University''s Butler College are covered in green, but not the traditional ivy one might expect, according to the Times of Trenton.
In September, more than 275 students will move into the 113,000-square-foot complex whose roof houses more than a dozen varieties of sedum, a drought-resistant, easy-to-maintain plant that will help reduce heating and cooling costs as well as aid in reducing storm water runoff and provide a habitat for wildlife, the story stated.
According to the story, the new buildings, designed by Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, are environmentally friendly inside and out, with the outside 30 percent more energy efficient than construction codes require.
Monitoring equipment, including a weather station, has been installed on one of the roofs and will help ecologists monitor the effectiveness of the living roofs, the story noted.
According to Eileen Zerba, a senior lecturer in ecology and evolutionary biology and director of undergraduate laboratories at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), the green roofs are 66 percent cooler than regular roofs and will extend the life of the roofs two or three times longer.
Several media tours of the new dormitories have been conducted by university officials who are eager to show off their green thumbs, the story added.
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