Posted by: Dave | June 13, 2008


Today we had a milestone meeting for green roofs in Texas. UTA landscape architecture professor Dr. David Hopman recently had a green roof installed on a UTA science building. So, today we went to UTA to see their roof, and he came to the Nature Center to see ours. Our roofs designs and our preframing of what a Green Roof in this area should look like led to interesting differences of approach and implementation. We certainly can learn from his study (and selfishly cite it in our thesis, thanks by the way) and hopfully he can learn from ours as well.

But probably just as important was the collection of people who traveled around with us. First off, we had a few TCU undergraduates come to see the roofs. These undergraduates are doing numerous forms of research on the roof module boxes, but that is another post for another night.

Also with us was Bob O’Kennon and Pat Harrison from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (or BRIT, as we affectionately call it). Bob is actually one of our advisors, and a great resource for plant identification (as he literally wrote the book). BRIT is planning on having a green roof on their new facility that is set to open in 2011, so we are trying to help them in any way we can.

Also packed into our not so small 15-passenger van was Sue Linder-Lindsly from the Audubon Society and Elizabeth from Elizabeth Anna’s Old World Market. Sue told us that the new Audubon Society building south of downtown Dallas just put their soil in for their new green roof! How awesome!!! I’m going out Monday to see how their doing it. And Elizabeth was great to meet as well; she is familiar with many native plant species and grows and sells many of them as well.

So basically, the UTA roof will be cool to see because they are using commercially available plants and soil, and the set up is actually on a roof. Our roof is a meant to mimic the Fort Worth Prairie Barrens and glade communities and BRIT’s will be similar I think. and then the Audobon Society’s roof is meant to be a tallgrass prairie. Man that’s cool. All educational institutions and we’re pioneering green roofs in the area. This is an exciting time.


Posted by: Dave | May 3, 2008

Article in the Skiff

Our research was recently profiled in the TCU Skiff.  Electronic version here.


Posted by: Dave | April 28, 2008

15 Minute Power Point

Just gave a 15 minute status update on our project to some classmates in our scientific presentations class.  It deals with my half of the thesis, soils and hydrology as well as discussing green roof basics.  That file is linked here, however please do not distribute any part of it without our permission, thanks!


Posted by: Dave | April 22, 2008

Progress report

We’ve got some data! at least a little…

Currently, Dave is analyzing stormwater (If you have not taken a look at Dave’s storm water analysis’s, you should, they’re pretty amazing), and I’m analyzing the plants. I’ll be tracking height, canopy cover, and phenology of the plants. Phenology is basically a timeline for the plant, such as when does it start blooming, when does it throw seed etc. Specifically, though, I’m also tracking when they start to decay/rot/look gross so that I can have a feel for the aesthetic aspect to their phenology since looking good is something green roofs are concerned with.

I’ve spent the last two days pretty much straight trying to get the forms right for semi-quantitatively tracking the plants through this study. I’ve gone through the first four boxes with the my current form and phenology code and I think I’m close having a good form worked out.

My plan is to track the boxes pretty closely. I’ll alternate every week tracking the phenology of the boxes one week, and then some sample field sites for the weeks in between. I will for sure track the height and cover at least 4 times through the study (including right now) but I’m going to try for more. I’ll try and get the data up on here as soon as I’ve finished collecting it from the rest of the boxes.


Posted by: Dave | April 22, 2008


We have officially made it…. we are now on youTube. or search “TCU Green Roofs” Thanks!


Posted by: Dave | April 20, 2008

Preliminary Data

These graphs were created with data collected this month.  The first shows how each test roof compares to a theoretical “perfectly draining” roof from which 100% of rain that falls on it drains off immediately (labeled as Equivalent Box Volume).  In the upper left corner a plot of rainfall intensity shows the rates of precipitation in inches per hour.  In this event the commercial media stored the most water with a retention rate of approximately 80%.  Native soil boxes danced around the 60% to 70% retention mark.

The second image shows plots of soil moisture over a week of dry days framed by a storm at the beginning and end of the data set.  Relevant notes are on the graph.

1.59 Inch Event

April Soil Mositure

Posted by: Dave | March 13, 2008

Almost there

With plants in over half of our green roof modules, we’re well on our way to T-zero of our data collection. We are ironing out a few final details before installing a commercial green roof system so we can finish transplanting and mark our first data point with the project completely built.