Guelph Green Roof


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link to CESRF website

Green roof research at the University of Guelph

A green roof is one with a growing substrate (i.e. artificial "soil") and topped with a layer of vegetation. The roof top experiences extreme weather conditions (hot summer and cold winter); therefore, to ensure a successful and sustainable green roof it needs specially-designed growing substrates, drought and extreme temperature-tolerant plant species and species combinations, and sustainable maintenance technologies. Due to the rapidly increasing number of green roof installations in both Canada and throughout North America, there is an increased demand for quality green roof plants, growing substrates and production systems. Guelph Green Roof Research was initiated to support the needs, especially in the biological aspects, of the rapidly-developing green roof industry in northern climates.

We are a group of plant biologists, soil scientists and horticulturists. Our mission is to conduct scientific research to provide the green roof industry with updated and reliable information in the following areas:
  • Plant species and species combinations suitable for green roof installation
  • Green roof plant production technologies (e.g. growing substrates, irrigation, fertilization, growing systems)
  • Green roof plant installation and maintenance technologies [e.g. growing substrates, irrigation, fertilization, pest (e.g. pathogen and weeds), and other stresses (e.g. drought) management]

Science complex roof Science complex roof garden
The research green roof on the Science Complex on the University of Guelph's main campus.

University of Guelph, Bovey Building, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1