Library green roof discussion continues

by Kelly J. Larson | J335 | Spring 2011

An environmentally friendly rooftop that would include dirt and perennials might be added to the renovation plans for the Madison Central Library.

Madison residents will continue to provide input on the inclusion of this eco-rooftop, called an extensive green roof, at a Madison Public Library Board meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Madison Senior Center on 330 W. Mifflin St., main floor.

The Facilities and Sustainability Department conducted a Green Roof Feasibility Study to determine whether the current budget for the library renovations can accommodate the roof. The study compared two types of green roofs: a rooftop community garden that would support vegetable growth and an extensive green roof that would have less soil and plant life.

According to the study, a rooftop community garden would cost an estimated $775,344 and another $149,850 in annual maintenance fees, whereas an extensive green roof would cost an estimated $156,000.

Thus far, city officials have rejected plans for a community garden because of the high costs. The current anticipated cost for the total renovations is $29.5 million, and these costs would mean a budget decrease in other areas such as heating, cooling and insulation.

Green roofs have many advantages such as being visually pleasing, extending roof life and reducing water runoff, which is why an extensive green roof option remains on the renovation design. The architects expect to be done with plans by April, and they continue to welcome public comments and suggestions.

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