Today our group visited the green rooftop on the newly constructed Ruth Caplin Theatre. I have always seen this rooftop in passing but I’ve never taken the time to actually explore it. As a whole, I was not very impressed with the rooftop but I think with some very simple alterations and additions it could be greatly improved upon. Part of the reason that it didn’t appear as attractive as I think it could be is just because of the season and the lack of blooming plants. Another reason I think I was a bit unimpressed is just because it’s not what I was expecting. I was expecting an actual green rooftop with grass or at least more plants.
After further research though, I am now able to see some interesting aspects that I did not realize at first. It appears as just a concrete rooftop on top of a building with a bunch of rocks and some shrubs. However, it does appear as if the rocks are to incorporate a drip irrigation of some sort. I would classify this green rooftop as a semi-intensive green roof. According to Green Roof Technology, a semi-intensive green roof can use selected perennials, sedums, ornamental grasses, herbs, and little shrubs. The Ruth Caplin Theatre uses a variety of shrubs and some perennials. One of my favorite parts of the rooftop was the fact that it has a plethora of rosemary bushes in the “garden/ shrub” area. I think this could be expanded upon though and more herbs could be planted. Perhaps the Fine Arts Café could even find a way to incorporate these herbs into their food.
I think the main problem with this green rooftop is that it’s not very usable but that’s a problem that I think could be easily fixed. By simply adding more plants and benches or tables, the rooftop would become much more active. I think the University could really benefit from more outdoor study spaces and this rooftop offers the perfect opportunity because of the accessible open space. Another option to increase its aesthetic appeal could be to make it an artscape. By simply adding some statues or artistic pieces such as marble or mosaic tiles in the concrete, its appeal would be highly heightened.
Post by Caroline MacDonald