Ohio Hospital Grows First Green Roof

CANTON, Ohio — Green roofs are sprouting up atop hospitals across the country in a green building trend that is here to stay — at least until another one takes over. In December, the 808-bed Aultman Hospital in Canton completed the installation of a 2,500-square-foot green roof — the first for the hospital — in hopes of promoting sustainability and improving the patient care experience.

“Views of natural landscapes have a positive effect on emotional and mental health. Some studies have even shown that patients who have a view of green space have lower levels of stress and anxiety and recover more quickly,” said Ryan Jones, vice president of support services at Aultman Hospital, in a statement. “In addition to providing a more natural view from the windows for our patient rooms, the green roof provides environmental benefits, including better stormwater management.”

A green roof protects the roof’s surface from UV rays, cutting down on heat, especially in urban settings where lots of buildings are prevalent. It also helps retain stormwater in the plant system to keep that water out of storm centers.

“The green roof also shields the underlying structural roof, protecting it from UV radiation and temperature extremes and from damage from windblown debris,” Jones said in a statement. “That helps extend the service life of the roof.”

The project team selected the LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof System, which was installed by Rice’s Nursery & Landscaping, with help from Ray Roofing, a subsidiary of The R.G. Smith Company (both located in Canton). It was chosen because of its modular design, making it easy to install, and included features that establish a green roof as a naturally functioning ecosystem.

“This is the first green roof we’ve been involved with, and our part was to help and make sure there was no damage done to the roof, getting [the hospital client] years of service out of it,” said Dave Rock, manager of the roofing division at Ray Roofing. “The challenge at the hospital is the logistics of getting the product there and getting it on the roof, while maintaining their customer base coming in and out of the hospital, but the whole project worked out well.”

The green roof modules were full of regionally adapted, locally grown plants that were completely grown upon installation, allowing for immediate results with low maintenance. Plus, the plants chosen can stay green all year-round, even in the cold Ohio months.

LiveRoof’s area distributor and grower, Corso’s Perennials, gave regional horticultural expertise and green roof planning. The roof was planted with their Carefree Evergreen plant mix, which features eight different varieties of Sedum for a diversity of textures and colors. The blue of the Sedum Reflexum and the yellow of the Angelina are more prominent than the green and red varieties. During wintertime, the red and purple shades standout more, and the yellow shades turn to orange.

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