Located atop the Intercollegiate Athletics Field House, the PECO Green Roof Garden is a biological community of plants and micro-organisms that provide an environmentally sound alternative to a traditional roof system. Green roofs utilize growing plants on rooftops, essentially replacing the vegetation that has been removed by the building construction.

Green roofs are alive; a living biological community of plants and microorganisms growing in a lightweight medium that provide an opportunity to revitalize urban landscapes ecologically, economically and socially.

The Green Roof Garden is based on an award-winning exhibit —“Green Roof Technology” —created by students and faculty for the 2002 Philadelphia Flower Show. The Green Roof provides the basis for research by several Landscape Architecture and Horticulture faculty. The Green Roof includes a variety of succulents and drought-tolerant plants.

The purpose of the PECO Green Roof Garden is to educate students and visitors (including developers, municipal officials, and community residents) about this environmentally friendly alternative to traditional roofing systems that is believed to provide greater energy efficiency, improved stormwater management, and reduction of pollutants in rainwater coming off the roof. The project also maximizes research opportunities for Temple faculty and students interested in studying these impacts.

The PECO green roof consists of several layers, from top to bottom:

  • The plants, which trap dust, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and create habitat.

  • Substrate, which supplies water and nutrients to plant roots, ensures gas exchange at the roots and provides anchorage to support plants.

  • Separation blanket, which prevents migration of soil into the underlying drainage layer.

  • Drainage layer, which ensures that the roots get air and don’t become oversaturated.

  • Root barrier, a solid sheet of rubber that keeps plant roots from penetrating and damaging the roof membrane.

  • Roof membrane; which is on all roofs and prevents water from leaking and damaging the roof.