The Louisville Zoo has received $142,725 in Federal money to install a new green roof and educational center at the HerpAquarium. Congressman John Yarmuth presented a large check to Zoo Director John Walczak this week for the project that is expected to reduce energy demands for cooling by 50 percent. Two new planted trellis walls similar to the “living wall” to be installed at The Green Building will be included along with the expansive roof and an interpretive educational display to educate visitors about the benefits of such environmentally friendly building practices.
We already learned of many of the benefits of green roofs from a recently installed system at the Metro Development Center on Fifth Street. The Zoo’s new roof will reduce the urban heat island effect, helping to keep the entire city cooler in the summer, reduce stormwater runoff by 60 to 70 percent and improve stormwater runoff quality, helping to keep the sewers from overflowing into local waterways, add extra thermal and sound insulation, helping to create a better environment inside the building, create added animal habitat and increase aesthetics, helping zoo-goers have a more pleasant experience, and extend the life of the roof, reducing the need for replacement down the road.
With all the benefits of a green roof, it’s a wonder we don’t see more of them around town. As these high-profile examples such as the Zoo, Metro Development Center, and The Green Building go online, hopefully more buildings will follow suit with green roofs of their own. Design of the roof was done by Luckett & Farley and plants are provided by Boone Gardiner. Construction is expected to take about six months, so next spring should bring a new green surprise to the Louisville Zoo as the roof and walls take on their first growing season.
- The Louisville Zoo (Official Site)
- The Green Building To Be Literally Green (Broken Sidewalk)
- Metro Development Center Set For A Green Roof (Broken Sidewalk)