Green Infrastructure

What is green infrastructure?

Infrastructure is part of a system we need to go about our daily lives. For example, the infrastructure of Cedar City includes roads, bridges, buildings, and lights. Green infrastructure is built to include parts of nature. Green infrastructure can be as simple as the trees planted on Main Street, or as complicated as a city park.

The roof of our museum is an example of green infrastructure. Our roof is covered with plants and a thin layer of material in which the plants grow. This type of roof is called a green roof because it is green infrastructure. Our green roof helps insulate the building from extreme heat and cold. Our green roof also soaks up rain, which helps prevent flooding in Cedar City. You can view the green roof through the windows in the east stairwell of the Science Center Addition building.

Students at SUU are getting research experience by studying our green roof. They have built a special piece of equipment called a lysimeter, which they use to measure how much water is used on our green roof. Their research will help us determine if, in addition to insulating the building, green roofs can also be used to grow food. Green infrastructure has many benefits!

This research was funded by iUTAH and the National Science Foundation, and is a collaboration with Dr. Steve Burian's group at the University of Utah and Dr. Jacqualine Grant, former Museum director.