Investigating the Impact of Green Roofing Carbon Sequestration with GHG Emissions in Structural Reinforcement Production

In order to achieve proper carbon sequestration, it is estimated by Project Drawdown that as much as thirty percent of worldwide roofing area (136B Sq. ft.) be converted to green roofing. In newly built structures, green roofing is accounted for before construction by reinforcing the structural design of the building. However, in order to achieve thirty percent green roofing space worldwide, it is necessary to convert older structures as well. This brings about a new issue: whether the carbon consuming benefits of green roofing is outweighed by the carbon emissions of producing structural reinforcements for older structures. This project outlines the feasibility of green roofing reinforcement technologies on a smaller scale- the Penn State Harrisburg Campus. The original roofing structures of the campus Science and Technology Building was analyzed for maximum loading capacity. A theoretical weight of 50 pounds per square foot, that of an extensive vegetated roof, was then added to this load. Required reinforcement methods were determined. Lastly, the materials and processes used to implement these reinforcements were analyzed for GHG emissive values. To determine the prerequisite for reinforcement, the weakest component of the roofing was tested; A structural analysis of the open- web joists was performed with added loads from a hypothetical green roof. The conclusion of which shows that the moment of inertia of the joist type 30K8, totaling 428 in 4, was incapable of resisting the deflective values of 618 in 4. Suggestions for reinforcement and their carbon emissive effects were then determined. The impact of this project gives multinational consumers a guide to the secondary effects of green roofing reinforcement on the environment. These small-scale findings provide a foundation and forum into future expansion on a global scale.

Monday Poster Session
Joshua Wagner
Related Conference Themes
Electricity Generation
Materials & Waste