Horticulture (HORT) 497B was the first green roof technologies class in the nation, created at Penn State in 2005, and is taught every spring semester with students from many disciplines participating.

Course Objectives

The course objectives will be to examine the fundamentals of green roofs, living walls, constructed wetlands, and selected other green technologies. We will consider their origins, installation, maintenance, and relationship with other green development and building technologies and practices. The major emphasis will be the use of green technologies in storm water mitigation, however other uses and benefits will also be considered. This is primarily a seminar/discussion class that will include both lecture and practicum periods and will be consist of hands-on projects, guest lectures, and field trips.

Topics Covered

  • Green roof functions, examples, and plants
  • Green roof media
  • Mechanics and design of green roofs
  • Plants and phytoremediation
  • Biota of phytoengineered systems
  • Constructed wetland functions, examples, and plants
  • Mechanics and design of constructed wetlands
  • Best Management Practices for storm water management: rain gardens, curb cuts, etc.

Field Trips

  • Local green roofs
  • Penn State Analytical Laboratory
  • Penn State Center for Sustainability
  • Penn State Rock Springs Research Site
2006 Major Project

Energy Expo, Yurt design and installation.

2007 Major Project

Root Cellar design and installation

2008 Major Project

Green roof design for elementary school; design, construction, and installation of an indoor teaching and research green roof, living wall, and constructed wetland