Expanding Green Roof Gardens at Boston University

Project Partner: BU Sustainability, Spring 2019

Project summary: Urban rooftops hold great promise for tackling climate change through the addition of food-producing gardens. What opportunities exist at Boston University (BU) to utilize rooftops for green roof gardens? Under the BU Climate Action Plan, Sarabeth examined the feasibility of green roofs on campus by developing a buildings grading system. She identified potential for green roofs atop Warren Tower, the George Sherman Union, and Mugar Library. Sarabeth calculated the cost of roof installation, the yield of edible vegetables, and other ecosystem services such as retaining water, lowering local temperatures, and providing a venue for community events. Throughout the project, Sarabeth gained insights into how different stakeholders view rooftop gardens while creating a useful decision-support tool.

Project deliverables: Policy brief and green roof suitability calculator that helps assesses structural integrity of the roof and estimates ecosystem services impact from green roof installation.


Potential green roof locations at Boston University. a) Solar potential of roofs on campus. Aerial views of potential green roof areas of b) Warren Towers courtyard, c) sideview and e) plan view of Mugar Library roof top, and d) George Sherman Union.