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STLCC-Wildwood Ranks Among Area’s Highest LEED-Certified Buildings

July 06, 2011

Wildwood's green roof  
The "green" roof at STLCC-Wildwood reduces the heat island effect as it quietly keeps water out of the building, thereby saving energy, holding rain water from the storm sewers, and helping to provide a beautiful view from the inside to the outside and surrounding areas.

In June 2007, Bi-State Roof System Inc. put the final touches on the new “green” roof it had  installed on the St. Louis Community College-Wildwood campus facility that was due to open in a few weeks.

Under the supervision of Adrian McWherter, project manager for Bi-State Roof Systems, a crane lifted pallets containing 2’x2’x 4” deep aluminum pans containing soil, small stones and sedum plants that were placed on the roofing membrane, “greening” the roof by the minute. The combination of the new, fresh, white membrane containers of sedum plants and an area of light-colored pavers made the roof look more like a landscaped garden than a roof -- and that was the whole idea.

Today, after the first four years, college officials are pleased both with the roof’s appearance as well as its performance.

The roof is just one in the total group of components that ranks it as one of the highest-rated LEED-certified buildings in the St. Louis area. In fact, in a May 2011 list compiled and published by the St. Louis Business Journal, the Wildwood campus tied for fifth in a listing of the area’s 25 highest LEED-certified buildings.

John Henry Tetstill, Wildwood facilities manager, and Tom Seger, lead stationary engineer, do some roof cleaning from time to time, and a bit of plant weeding takes place, but that is about all the maintenance the roof  requires to continue providing the energy-saving benefits for which is was designed.

The plantings on the roof absorb and use much of the rainwater that falls onto it. The water not used by the plantings drains into two 25,000-gallon cisterns adjacent to the roof, which are used to irrigate the adjacent grassy area during a dry spell. This water-holding system reduces water runoff from draining to the ground and into the storm sewer system.

This roof also reduces the heat island effect as it quietly keeps water out of the building, thereby saving energy, holding rain water from the storm sewers, and helping to provide a beautiful view from the inside to the outside and surrounding areas.

Bi-State Roof Systems Inc., based in Valley Park, Mo., has installed several more “green” roof systems, and the interest is growing in landscaping the roof areas for continuous energy savings, water retention, roof/garden beauty and over all “green” values.

In 2015, company officials will evaluate the roof’s performance, and are confident that it will continue to provide energy savings for which it was designed, as well as the “green” beauty that is an exceptional side benefit.