Green Roof Fiasco

The green roof leaked over the weekend into the Vertebrate Collection. The Vertebrate Collection houses thousands of bird and mammal specimens from around the world, and we're all keeping our fingers crossed that water didn't get into the sealed cabinets to damage any of the specimens.

  Jun 5, 2012   btugwell


It's been mayhem around here.  And not the fun kind of mayhem that results in cooked oatmeal dropping on your head or supergluing a magazine to a coffee table. 

The green roof leaked over the weekend into the Vertebrate Collection.  The Vertebrate Collection houses thousands of bird and mammal specimens from around the world, and we're all keeping our fingers crossed that water didn't get into the sealed cabinets to damage any of the specimens.

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Just some of the specimens in the Vertebrate Collection

Enter Sherlock Holmes

Folks from all over campus who are involved with the green roof either in installation or maintenance have converged upon the prairie to determine the cause of the leak.  Rain and snow had never penetrated the roof before - so why now? 

Was the irrigation not running properly?  Was the drainage system damaged somehow?  An evil green-roof gremlin, up to no good?  

Although all of those possibilities seem plausible, none were the culprit.  

Upon installing the boxes to hold the green roof leak sensors a couple of weeks ago, the contractors cut through both of the water-protective membranes on the roof (they should have only gone through one).  To make matters worse, they didn't seal anything up to protect from the elements, thereby creating a hole in the roof.  

Who loves some good irony?

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The water-protective membranes (2 layers of orange material) were both cut through to install the leak monitoring boxes.  Only one of the membranes should have been cut.

 

Green Roof Damage Control

 

Anyway, this is a problem that I assume doesn't come up often in green roof design and maintenance.  But it is a teachable problem, nonetheless.  Dorothy will go into more depth this week as the details unfold - so stay tuned for a lesson on green roof damage control.

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Digging up the plants surrounding the three leak monitoring boxes to access the problem.

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Hopefully the plants can be reinstalled later this week.

 

Written by Brenna Wanous, Berry Center