Northern Kentucky Sanitation District's green roof a regional model

The offices of a sanitation district may not be the first place you would think to look for an innovative green roof, but maybe they should be.  The headquarters of the Northern Kentucky Sanitation District feature a 2003 expansion that incorporates an outdoor environmental education center and an innovative vegetated (green) roof.

The expansion also featured a number of other green features including a wetland classroom, storm water garden, watershed plaza, oil/water separator, porous pavements, technology lab, and an urban forest.

The 5,200 square-foot green roof that was incorporated on the expansion received the Green Roof Award of Excellence by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in 2007 in the extensive institutional category. When the building opened in 2003 it received the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects' (KYASLA) Award of Honor with excellence.

The green roof was designed by Cincinnati-based landscape architecture firm Human Nature, and was installed by Roofscapes, Inc., a "full-service green roof installation firm."

Roofscapes Inc. used an unirrigated 4-inch thick green roof profile that included a variety of plants like Sedum, Allium and Bouteloua.  The green roof project was planned and developed with the intent of reducing rainfall runoff and improving overall water quality.  The Northern Kentucky Sanitation District has continued to monitor the project since its completion in the summer of 2003.

The green roof is also designed to accommodate access by Sanitation District staff and visitors, and includes a paved elevated walkway for tours.  The commonly cited and well-known Chicago City Hall green roof used a similar design approach that was also installed by Roofscapes, Inc.

If you or your group would like to tour the Northern Kentucky Sanitation District's green roof, you can do so Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.  Tours are available if scheduled in advance: Call Jamie Edgemeyer at (859) 578-6764 before visiting the site at 1045 Eaton Drive in Fort Wright, Kentucky.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Image provided by Green Roofs
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