High school student supports her old elementary school by initiating a green roof project

UPPER ARLINGTON (WCMH)—An Upper Arlington High School senior wanted to give back something to her former elementary school.

Emma Reed chose the idea of creating a “green roof” for her capstone project. She was stunned by what happened next.

A project such, she explained, could cost as much as $20,000, but two local contractors stepped forward to provide materials and labor to renovate the roof of the Windermere Elementary School multipurpose building to save energy. The new white roof will reflect much more solar heat and reduce the cost of cooling the building.

Between the raindrops, crews began working on removing the black roofing material on Friday, and hope to have a new Energy Star white finish completed by the middle of next week. The existing 3,500-square-foot black roof acts as a heat “sink” compared to a bright white reflective rooftop.

The environmentally-friendly workflow, directed by Tremco and Phinney Roofing, includes capturing construction runoff in a cleaning machine so that pollutants do not enter a stream or watershed. Storm wastewater is pumped through a truck cleansing system and sent directly into a sanitary line.

Tremco field supervisor Scott Bertke, who managed a portion of the school roof project, said that the truck system not only cleaned the roof but also “collects all the dirty water and puts it back into the sanitary sewer,” which keeps wastewater from reaching the storm drains and surrounding environment.

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