Green Roof Shelter / People Hub

The green roof shelter on Villanova’s campus was constructed in April 2015, with installation of the green roof completed in August 2015. The site is located near the Facilities building on West campus, adjacent to the stormwater wetland. The site is visible and accessible to users of the walking path, and those who visit the Structures lab or Facilities building. The shelter’s purpose:

  •   Study performance of small green roofs
  •   To capture rainfall from frequently occurring storms
  •   Provide education opportunity for stormwater management
  •   Provide research opportunity for green technology companies

The semi-intensive, modular green roof consists of 8 inch deep GreenGrid® trays donated by Weston Solutions. The trays contain rooflite® semi-intensive green roof media with groups of plant species on each half of the roof: sedums group and non-sedums group (primarily grasses). The two plant groups cover equal green roof area, and have separate outflow measurement devices for runoff comparison. The outflow measurement devices are custom-made Orifice Restricted Devices (ORDs), designed and built at Villanova to measure the range of flows expected from the roof.

The site is designed to study how a small footprint can be part of a larger green infrastructure system to capture stormwater and consequently reduce the amount of runoff entering piped stormwater systems. This green roof is practical in highly urbanized areas, especially due to its small size. Many of the site’s characteristics lend it to be extremely flexible - the removable trays allow for easier maintenance and installation, the accessibility for maintenance, and the visibility being at a lower elevation than a building rooftop.

The project includes a STEM outreach component, integrated with programs and curriculum at both Villanova University and Upper Darby High school.

  • 160 ft2 modular green roof
  • 40 GreenGrid® trays
  • 8 inch rooflite® semi-intensive media depth
  • Vegetation groups: sedums and non-sedums (grasses)
  • Monitoring for following variables:   

1. Weather – precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, air temperature
2. Soil moisture
3. Media temperature
4. Overflow rate and volume, overflow temperature


Green Roof
Shelter - October 2015
Green Roof
Grass - October 2015
Green Roof
Sedums - October 2015