Company plants its largest California green roof atop school

A 15,000-square-foot LiveRoof green roof on the newly opened Korematsu Middle School in California is reducing the school’s environmental footprint, providing a living model of sustainability best practices, reducing energy costs and improving air quality, according to a press release.

The project is also LiveRoof brand’s largest green roof installation in California to date.

Korematsu Middle School, part of the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), welcomed students and staff to its new campus in El Cerrito in March. The school’s three green roofs are designed to save the district operating expenses by lowering heating/cooling costs as much as 14 percent, extending the life of the roof and reducing the urban heat island effect. Green roofs also help reduce noise pollution by lowering interior sound levels by as much as 40 decibels, and offer fire protection, following local fire codes designed to protect students and staff.

The living roofs are helping create a healthy future. The new green roofs will provide additional insulation for the new school, resulting in lower costs to heat and cool the building. Green roofs also provide natural water as rainwater is returned to the environment through evaporation. At the same time, the drought-tolerant plants filter the rainwater and capture air pollutants creating a cleaner, healthier environment. Green roofs can also sustain a great variety of plants, insects and birds, linking them together for improved ecosystem efficiency.

The new LiveRoof green roof at Korematsu Middle School is a patented, subterranean modular system that unites soil and plants creating a meadow-like aesthetic. The green roof is cost-effective, providing operational and maintenance cost savings from increased roof life and reduced energy use. The living roof will also reduce noise, protect air quality and provide natural beauty. 

Green roofs provide numerous, significant environmental benefits:

  • Improves air filtration; one square foot of green roof foliage can filter seven ounces of dust and smog per year. Plant photosynthesis also reduces greenhouse gases in the air.
  • Lowers interior sound levels by as much as 40 decibels.
  • Reduces energy costs; improved thermal insulation and reduced heat island effect provide heating and cooling savings.
  • Reduces stormwater runoff by 65-90 percent in the summer and 25-40 percent during winter months.
  • Increases roof life; soil and plants provide a protective barrier reducing exposure to ultraviolet rays and extreme temperatures, along with a waterproof roof lining, to extend roof life by as much as 200-300 percent, or 40-50 years.
  • Provides natural beauty; rooftop gardens provide a verdant, living space and habitable space when patios, walkways and seating is included in the garden design.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Educational Buildings, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Exteriors, Green Roofs / Garden Roofs, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation, Water and Moisture Management - Waterproofing, Water Quality / Water Filtration, Water Saving Strategies and Devices

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