California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has installed its first green roof on top of its brand new University Student Union as part of the University’s commitment to sustainable building practices. The LiveRoof® green roof system provided by Florasource, Ltd. was installed on October 10 and 11 using LiveRoof’s pre-grown modular system.  Members of the media are invited to view the installation by appointment.

“The green roof was part of our LEED Gold Certification.  By insulating the roof it helps with energy costs while creating an interesting venue on our outdoor rooftop patio,” said Scott Kirby, associate director of operations for the CSUSM University Student Union.  The LEED program is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.  Certified LEED buildings cost less to operate and are a testament to the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.

“I am most impressed with how efficiently the system works,” commented Kirby.  “The plants were pre-grown in modules off site then brought in a more mature stage to help with their resiliency.  Also the plants are grown in modules that allow them to be transported and arranged easily.  For future maintenance this allows us to remove one module without damaging those around it.”

“The roof is very accessible; it is the upper most level of the student union, and makes up the north side of the plaza-like setting that offers seating and beautiful views of both the green roof and the hills to the north of campus,” said Tom Hawkins, LiveRoof’s Southern California rep and owner of Florasource, Ltd.

“The new four-story, 89,283 square-foot CSUSM University Student Union will be the ‘heartbeat’ of the campus, supporting the development of campus life as well as the engagement and retention of students,” said CSUSM Public Information Officer Margaret Lutz-Chantun. “The USU will feature four different dining options, a coffee shop and lounge, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a convenience store, a quite lounge, a spiritual lounge, a TV lounge, activity room and commuter lounge.”

The USU was funded through student fees and students played an important role in the design and construction process.  The new building will be the new home of Student Life & Leadership, the Tukwut Leadership Center, Associated Students, Inc. and all of the social justice centers including the Cross Cultural Center, Pride Center and Women’s Center.  A ballroom, meeting rooms and office space for student union operations and the university cooperation will also be included.

“We are all eagerly awaiting the grand opening of this special building and look forward to the unifying impact it will have on our campus c0mmunity,” said Lutz-Chantung.

Plant selections were proposed by LandLAB, a San Diego based landscape architecture firm, with review and input from Florasource Ltd., the LiveRoof Green Roof System sales representatives for California.  The roof is planted with several Western U.S. native grasses and succulents and a number of plants of Mediterranean origin that will perform well in the inland San Diego county climate.

View additional pictures and learn more about this green roof on the LiveRoof Project Showcase or on