green roofs

Green roofs, also known as eco-roofs or nature roofs, have become increasingly more popular as people and organizations realize their benefits, from better storm-water management and reduced CO2 impact to cutting down summer air conditioning costs. You may not realize it, but Washington Park is a green roof. And a 2,400 square foot green roof grows on top of Giraffe Ridge Barn at the Cincinnati Zoo.

  Long established in Europe, green, or living, roofs are becoming increasingly popular here in the United states, as more people  recognize their value in conserving energy, improving air quality, and managing storm water runoff, along with their aesthetic qualities.

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The green roof concept is gaining traction with builders and the eco-conscious but a successful green roof requires more than just planting some vegetation.

A University of Cincinnati pilot study finds some native plants are more successful in our climate than others.

Student Jill Bader and Assistant biology professor Ishi Buffam were surprised to discover a member of the onion family fared best.

"It looks delicate, I think. The foliage is long and thin and it has a very delicate flower. It doesn't look tough but it is," says Bader.