ONE YEAR LATER
Latest Campus Green Roof Shows Progress, Promise

Installed in spring 2017, the green roof on the Northwest Child Care Center shows growth in June of this year.
Installed in spring 2017, the green roof on the Northwest Child Care Center shows growth in June of this year.

It’s not easy being green.” With apologies to Kermit the Frog, the latest eco-friendly roof installment on campus, at the Northwest Child Care Center, hasn’t found any difficulties yet being green. In fact, it’s quickly becoming a model for future structures.

“Green roofs are only going to become more prevalent on campus,” predicts NIH landscape architect Brandon Hartz. “Any major construction project has a good chance of having a green roof. This is due to stormwater permit requirements from the Maryland department of the environment. Green roofs are one of a number of stormwater mitigation solutions in an engineer’s toolbox.”

More than a year after green roof contractors installed 3 plant plugs per square foot—54,000 plugs total—on top of the NWCCC at the corner of Center Drive and Convent Drive, the plants are thriving with about 50 percent coverage. About 17 different sedums and 9 other flowering perennials—26 different plant species—are growing in the space.

Read more
Water Tanks Fill to Serve Campus Needs

New tanks seen from Bldg. 10’s 14th floor
New tanks seen from Bldg. 10’s 14th floor

Since most NIH’ers are never going to go back there, let’s talk a little about the two giant water tanks recently constructed on the south side of campus.

The one closest to the south border is called the Industrial Water Supply System, or IWSS. It exists primarily to provide the campus Central Utility Plant (CUP) with about 4 days of water in the event of an emergency. It holds 5 million gallons; daily water use at the CUP averages 1.2 million gallons.

It offers insurance, given that the local water authority has many old pipes that occasionally rupture. A major break several years ago once threatened campus safety. The IWSS will also provide makeup water to the utility plant chillers, cooling towers and boilers during a regional outage.

The tank’s principal feature is a massive retaining wall separating the IWSS from parking lot 41. Just below the wall is a new surface parking lot—lot 42—with space for some 250 cars. One day, a multi-level garage is projected to rise from the plateau. The IWSS is due to come online late this year.

Read more