Kennedy Union Green Roof

Starting in the Fall of 2017, visitors to the newly renovated Kennedy Union can enter onto the patio and enjoy the new green roof installation.

Why a Green Roof?

The Kennedy Union Green Roof provides stormwater runoff management by absorbing large amounts of rainfall and filtering pollutants from water as it drains through the vegetation. It helps regulate building temperature, leading to savings in heating and cooling costs for the university. Lastly, the roof provides an unexpected green space for students to enjoy while visiting Kennedy Union,  improve the overall aesthetic of the campus and maybe even decreasing stress for visitors.

How was the Green Roof built?

Planning and design of the KU Green Roof was inspired and performed by work of environmental biology and sustainability, energy and the environment students and led by the Hanley Sustainability Institute.

Installation occurred over the course of five work days in September 2017. The process consisted of four phases: cement paver removal, sensor network placement, laying of the drainage sheets and installation of the vegetative trays. This project was completed with the help of 80 UD student volunteers, HSI Sustainability Leaders, UD faculty and staff, facilities management and Enterprise Roofing.

What's on the Green Roof?

The main feature of the green roof is the vegetative trays which contain eight to ten species of hardy sedum, succulents and chives that can withstand drought and midwestern winters. A network of temperature and soil moisture sensors are strategically placed underneath the vegetative trays and cement pavers to allow students to conduct research regarding the effect vegetation has on the roof. A drainage sheet placed beneath the trays keeps water flowing properly and protects the surface of the roof.

For more information, contact Dan Lenz, Green Roof Project Student Leader, at

More about the green roof:

Aerial of crane and pallets for green roof installation

KU Green Roof Photo Gallery

Check out the green roof installation process, start to finish!

DDN: New rooftop garden a ‘stunning living laboratory’

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Fox 45 Interview Screen Shot

Fox 45 Interview with HSI Student Leaders on the KU Green Roof

Watch Dayton Fox 45 interview with HSI student leaders Dan Lenz and Meg Maloney. Dan and Meg talk about the green roof and sustainability at UD. Clip 1 / Clip 2 / Clip 3

Garden of Plenty

Inspired by environmental biology and sustainability, energy and the environment students, and led by the Hanley Sustainability Institute and facilities management, the University of Dayton Kennedy Union rooftop garden will provide a campus hub for sustainability education.