EPA-Funded Green Roof Study Confirms Stormwater and Savings Benefits

Green Roof Conservation Design Forum 

With a need for low-impact stormwater management techniques in urban areas like Chicago, green roof retrofits present property owners and municipalities with an effective, but not altogether understood, approach. In order to achieve greater awareness and acceptance, research studies of real-world applications conducted over the past decade, and earlier, provide vital data and insights that confirm green roof efficacy across varying scales and conditions, design best-practices, cost-to-benefit relationships, as well as help to resolve misconceptions.


As an early pioneer of green roof design, Conservation Design Forum helped ignite public interest in urban green roofs with the landmark Chicago City Hall Green Roof pilot project which was completed in 2001. Since then, CDF has completed numerous high-performance green roof projects across the country, several of which have served as research sites for both the U.S. and State of Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agencies.


To compare the effectiveness of green roof systems in reducing stormwater runoff, CDF took the challenge to its own rooftop – installing a 5,700 s.f. green roof atop our firm’s (former) two-story offices in Elmhurst, Illinois; a mid-century brick building located in the downtown business district. As part of the two-year long Illinois-EPA study, the green roof was fitted with specialized monitoring equipment which measured rainfall and runoff.


Read more about the project and what was learned in Living Architecture Monitor.


Tags: stormwater runoff, green roof, Illinois EPA, non-point source pollution reduction,

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