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Green Design And Construction: An Example—Commercial “Green” Roofs

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Construction Engineering Advances II

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.611.1 - 8.611.17



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Paper Authors

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Paula Baty

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Erdogan Sener

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1621

Green Design and Construction: An Example—Commercial “Green” Roofs

Erdogan M. Sener 1 & Paula Baty2 Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)


“Green” design and construction refers to architectural design and construction practices that take into consideration a number of issues related to the environment, including, but not limited to, energy savings in heating and cooling, environmentally friendly construction materials, wastewater, and placement on site. Despite the fact that only 3 % of new buildings in the U.S.A. have some environmentally friendly features, there is an ever-increasing interest in “green” design and construction. This manifests itself in paying special attention to energy conservation both in the production of materials used in buildings, as well as, energy conservation during functioning of the building. Thus the need to look at different building components with new and enhanced criteria. The guiding principle in such undertakings has been consideration and development of “green” solutions/alternatives for diverse building components/parts that: have fewer adverse ecological consequences, enhance the aesthetic appearance, are cost competitive, and are economically feasible when compared with traditional methods.

This paper focuses on applying this approach in the analysis of one of the most important components of a building: the roof. Commercial green roofs were the area of focus of a study (1) within the context of a “green” design course at IUPUI and this study forms the basis of this paper. Even though green roofs have found extensive applications in Europe, the concept and the technique has not made its way into the U.S.A. in a way to be noticed. Within the context of this paper a basic treatise is provided on “green roofs” in terms of what they are, the types, special properties, and construction details, both in text and visual terms. A comparison is then provided between EPDM roofs, white roofs, and green roof systems. This comparison entails comparing not only of useful lives, maintenance requirements, insulation and reflective properties, but also, comparisons based on life-cycle cost and pay-back analysis.


In 1830, the world population was 1 billion; today, a staggering 6 billion people inhabit the globe. The “population bomb” has and will continue to affect global, national and local conditions in terms of economy, environmental resources, waste, and living standards. The United States, alone, is home to 284 million people, the majority of which reside in metropolitan areas. The homes, jobs and vehicles of 228 million urban dwellers concentrated in relatively small areas have significantly impacted national mineral, oil, and groundwater reserves. With the expectation of a billion new births in the next ten years, the ability to maintain adequate natural resources has become more critical (8).

Unfortunately, there is no elixir; however, careful planning and responsible use of both renewable and non-renewable resources can enable citizens to function and thrive in the coming decades. “Green” design includes, but is not limited to addressing the challenges of metropolitan development such as water quality, erosion control, energy conservation, waste disposal, and storm water drainage

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Baty, P., & Sener, E. (2003, June), Green Design And Construction: An Example—Commercial “Green” Roofs Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12433

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