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October 3, 2012

Civil Engineering completes new green roof laboratory

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's School of Civil Engineering will dedicate a new green roof laboratory Oct. 12 as part of the university's homecoming and the school's 125th anniversary celebration.

The Civil Engineering Student Advisory Council initiated the green roof project two years ago. The goal was to provide a laboratory space that offered students opportunities to study and work on sustainability and green initiatives. It also will serve as a student gathering space.

"The School of Civil Engineering's mission includes providing an exceptional educational experience for our undergraduate students, and our undergraduate curriculum includes many laboratories," said Rao Govindaraju, Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering and the 
Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering. "It is critical that our students are exposed to state-of-the art facilities with updated equipment. The addition of a green roof to the Delon and Elizabeth Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering will introduce this new technology to our students and allow them to participate in research on energy-reducing technologies and sustainability initiatives in the building." 

Students have raised more than $125,000 toward the project with fees paid by companies that participate in their annual Civil Engineering Career Fair. The School of Civil Engineering, alumni, industrial partners and sustainability funds from Purdue provided the balance of the $900,000 cost. 

The green roof is a critical addition to the curriculum for students in architectural engineering, hydrology and environmental areas, Govindaraju said. It will allow students to collaborate in exploring sustainability concepts in a real-world setting. 

"It's great to be a part of a sustainability project that will benefit campus while it gives us students a terrific learning experience," said Derek Daluga, president of the Civil Engineering Student Advisory Council.

Among features of the roof are various soil and plant media, sensors to measure energy flux and a weather station.

Among projects students will investigate are heat loads on the roof structure, energy-reducing technologies for the building, and the impact of a rainwater collection system for the green roof.

The green roof project is the final piece of the contiguous learning space created by the recent renovations of the Lyles Ideas to Innovation, Pankow Materials and Burke Hydraulic/Hydrology labs and a newly completed research garden.

Dedication of the green roof is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Sources: Rao Govindaraju, 765-494-3402, govind@purdue.edu

Derek Daluga, ddaluga@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Installation of the green roof is scheduled to begin at about noon Thursday (Oct. 4). Media interested in seeing the green roof during installation can contact Cindy Lawley, Civil Engineering director of external relations, at 754-494-7089, lawley@purdue.edu.