New Library to Feature Garden on Green Roof

Photo Courtesy: Temple University Communications
Photo Courtesy: Temple University Communications

Temple University is taking sustainability to the construction of its new library.

The library will feature one of Pennsylvania’s largest green roofs, including a 46,000-square-foot garden and stormwater management systems, according to a university spokesperson.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) is providing Temple with a loan of more than $6.7 million in low-interest funding for the project, after Governor Wolf announced in late April the university’s library was one of seven water-infrastructure projects supported by the loan.

That money will help Temple install a green roof, permeable paving, rainwater harvesting cisterns and stormwater piping. It’s all part of an effort to help stop erosion and sediment runoff from entering public sewer and stormwater systems.

Dr. Theobald said he appreciates the state’s investment in another step toward sustainability for the university.

“The sustainability features of our new library are based on Temple’s approach to design bold, innovative projects while also thoughtfully engineering them to lower energy requirements and stormwater runoff,” he said.

The green roof will feature a terrace and seating area outside the library’s fourth-floor reading room. It will face a hillside portion of the garden sloped upward to meet the side of the roof. The slope will be almost fully covered with different low-level plants.

Plants featured in the garden will include coneflowers, coral bells, liatris, purple poppies and yarrow, the spokesperson said.

Officials hope the roof will absorb water and act as a thermal barrier to help regulate building temperature.

Multiple new buildings at Temple have obtained high sustainability ratings, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. LEED ratings place projects in four categories — certified, silver, gold and platinum.
On campus, Morgan Hall, The Montgomery Avenue Parking Garage and the Tyler Architecture Building obtained silver status, while the Science Education and Research Center was the first building to achieve gold.

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