Publication Date


Document Type



Institutions of higher education have an important role to play in environmentalism. Students have the opportunity to follow their passions and learn from each other while producing tangible benefits for the environment in sustainability-related projects. Green roofs are the perfect project for student-driven environmental action. A green roof is a specially engineered vegetated roof. This research aims to be the foundation for future expansion of green roofs at Binghamton University. It will analyze both biophysical and social aspects, and the connection between the two. Urban runoff often picks up large levels of contaminants that can harm local ecosystems. Due to the University’s proximity to major bodies of water, I selected the green roof’s ability to retain stormwater as an environmental benefit to analyze. These rates had yet to be determined, and modeling them will provide insight into the university’s role in our local environment. Initial research revealed that the development of more green roofs at Binghamton is limited by a lack of available staff or student organizations to take care of them. Surveys and interviews were conducted with students and faculty to gauge interest in incorporating the green roof into campus life through stewardship, curricular and co-curricular initiatives. The stormwater retention model predicts a rate of reduction between 60 to 100% of runoff on green roofs. Surveys and interviews demonstrated considerable desire to bring green roofs into our academic sphere. By understanding these two components, we can begin to fully utilize the green roof on campus and encourage student-driven environmentalism. We can begin to overcome some of the obstacles in the development of new green roofs and bring additional green space and opportunities for students to engage in their passions.



Download Full Text (212 KB)

An Analysis of Binghamton University’s Potential for Green Roofs