News at Princeton

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Multimedia: Student

Video: Student work: It's Greener on Top


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The benefits of green roofs on urban landscapes and campuses such as Princeton's are explored in excerpts from a student-produced documentary. Watch the full video.


Video Closed Captions

Alex Renaud:
From Seattle to Miami, LA to Boston,

Alex Renaud:
San Francisco to Washington, D.C., there's no question that

Alex Renaud:
the modern metropolis dominates the American landscape.

Alex Renaud:
Its urban sprawl rises up out of our amber fields of grain.

Alex Renaud:
In nearby New York, we see the culmination of the

Alex Renaud:
city system, its skyscrapers continually reaching upward and outward.

Jessica Hsu:
While the compact nature of the

Jessica Hsu:
city life does have its environmental benefits,

Jessica Hsu:
cities such as New York have their fair share of

Jessica Hsu:
environmental problems as well.

Leslie Hoffman:
We have become so disconnected from what really sustains our

Leslie Hoffman:
own lives that it's at our own peril.

Jessica Hsu:
Fortunately, there's a new solution:

Jessica Hsu:
gardens placed stories above the busy streets and subways.

(music)

Alex Renaud:
After learning all about the structure of green roofs,

Alex Renaud:
we soon found ourselves amazed by their ability to efficiently

Alex Renaud:
handle the problems resulting from impervious city surfaces,

Alex Renaud:
especially those of reducing the heat-island effect and

Alex Renaud:
preventing excessive storm water runoff.

Jessica Hsu:
Whereas the temperature of black roofs is regularly twice

Jessica Hsu:
as high as the atmosphere's temperature,

Jessica Hsu:
green roofs lower both indoor and outdoor temperature.

Jessica Hsu:
By protecting the roof from temperature flux and ultraviolet

Jessica Hsu:
rays, green roofs increase roof life by a factor of two.

Jessica Hsu:
Even a two-inch deep green roof absorbs half of rainfall.

Alex Renaud:
You don't need to be a scientist to realize all the

Alex Renaud:
positive features of green roofs.

Alex Renaud:
Just a trip outside on one might be all it takes to

Alex Renaud:
convince yourself of the refreshing benefits.

Alex Renaud:
Universities have also started to take notice of the benefits

Alex Renaud:
of green building development.

Alex Renaud:
Princeton University has not only committed to sustainable

Alex Renaud:
design in new construction, but has taken extra steps to

Alex Renaud:
study it as well.

Jessica Hsu:
Green roofs will be installed on new Butler College

Jessica Hsu:
residential dorms.

Jessica Hsu:
For the first time, Princeton students will not

Jessica Hsu:
only be able to enjoy the green roofs and their benefits,

Jessica Hsu:
but study their impacts on the campus,

Jessica Hsu:
providing an amazing opportunity for green roof

Jessica Hsu:
education and research.

Eileen Zerba:
Because of the way it's set up, there's a conventional roof

Eileen Zerba:
right next to the green roof in two different buildings.

Eileen Zerba:
We're just looking at one section of Butler roof,

Eileen Zerba:
and so they're sort of like mirror images and we're very

Eileen Zerba:
lucky to get in on the beginning of the project and be able to

Eileen Zerba:
put the sensors in while the construction is taking place so

Eileen Zerba:
we can compare both the conventional and the green roofs

Eileen Zerba:
side by side.

(music)

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