SIU Green Roof Revitalization and Modernization
*Please Note: all contributions will go towards the entire project led by Nelson Fernandes
A decade ago, a group of innovative individuals created a unique space on the Agriculture Building's roof where one-tenth acre of soil would provide a research space and showcase native plants. Southern Illinois’ latitude is not ideal for a Green Roof to thrive due to the heat and dryness; therefore, our project is focused on revitalizing and modernizing the Green Roof to become sustainable for future years.
Revitalizing the Green Roof will increase public awareness and utilization of the space. We will have an overall cleaning of roof including cleaning the undersides of the recycled tiles and plot rails. We will also organize the inventory below the staircase using the Six Sigma 5S process. Furthermore, we will reorganize the existing vegetation on the roof and add new vegetation, such as Sedum and succulent plants which are hot-dry site tolerant.
Research being conducted by Austin Little on Testing Soil Medium for Cayenne pepper
Modernizing the Green Roof will increase value and sustainability of the space. The current irrigation system runs on a timer and does not adjust to changes in weather. Our primary focus is to create an autonomous irrigation system which will record a range of weather data and use it to disperse water more efficiently. This cross-disciplinary project will reduce the man-hours necessary to maintain the vegetation and will improve the overall value and sustainability of the space.
The Second Prototype for the Autonomous Irrigation System
The remaining key projects include creating an original data acquisition device, implementing a wind turbine system and designing a floor map identifier. The data acquisition device will replace the nonfunctional collection device and create methods for posting publicly accessible data. The device will record the humidity, temperature, moisture, solar radiation, wind speed, and more to stream to a webpage. The wind turbine will be constructed to increase publicity with engineering students and encourage the College of Engineering to utilize their research projects on the Green Roof. Lastly, the floor map identifier is a top view of the roof placed onto the Green Roof’s wall to identify what is growing or utilizing the space. Students and researchers can use the floor map to identify what is growing in a specific area as well as who is working in the area through reading a notecard associated with the designated space.
Forestry Undergraduate, Grant Deopy, finishes the Floor Plan
The vision of the project is to improve the conditions of the space while making it sustainable. Multiple student organizations will share ownership and continue to maintain the space by having clean-up days once to twice a semester. By making the Green Roof sustainable, current and future students will have the opportunity to partake in and witness life and innovative projects in the space!
Please join us for our Project Days listed below!
Google Form: https://forms.gle/1ytwtYbShxs27ciy5
*Please note this project is an initiative through the SIU's University Innovation Fellows. The U.I.F. program "empowers students and faculty to become leaders of change in higher education. Fellows are leading a global movement to ensure that all students gain the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to navigate a complex world."