A quest for science knowledge, fueled by New Day Work Project funds, will bring a new green roof to the multipurpose educational facility at the Robert L. Stevenson Science Signature Middle School, 1202 Prospect Street in Honolulu. The living roof installation begins tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15.

The rooftop garden will provide students at this award-winning science school with expanded opportunities to explore ecosystems, aquaponics, composting, and more. The RL Stevenson project is based on a learning curriculum focused on science and a team teaching approach and will include a flexible multipurpose space to accommodate large instructional meetings.

This project is part of former Governor Neil Abercrombie’s New Day Work Projects, designed to create jobs and get additional money flowing through the state’s economy. The projects have high social value–for example, irrigation systems, energy efficiency projects, educational facilities, and transportation infrastructure. Since December 2010, Governor Abercrombie has approved the release of over $300 million for these projects.

“Our new green roof will provide our students and staff an important new venue to observe, collect data and analyze plants, ecosystems, insects and more. It will provide a beautiful new learner-centered place for our students to fully engage in problem-based learning. We are looking forward to its completion.”

Linell Dilwith, Principal, RL Stevenson Middle School

Kyle Sasaki, ASLA, LEED AP Senior Landscape Architect at Ki Concepts designed the garden roof, which will be installed by Green Thumb, Inc. Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery is working with LiveRoof® Global, LLC of Spring Lake, Michigan, as the certified grower for this project. The new living roof will help earn LEED® points in several categories.  This is important as the project team hopes to achieve LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification attainable from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building program, the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings.

“Providing a unique learning environment for future scientists is an honor for Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery,” says David Fell, President. “We value the research-based learning these students are conducting every day. We hope their living roof learning experience will provide life-long inspiration for environmental stewardship.”

The 350 square foot garden will feature five plant selections laid in a pattern, including: Variegated Baby Sun Rose, Baby Sun Rose, Japanese Sedum, Rose Moss, and Tricolor Stonecrop.

Green roofs provide nature function and beauty. A patented, subterranean modular system unites the soil and plants creating a naturally beautiful meadow-like aesthetic.  The roofs provide aesthetic, environmental and social benefits.

Financial benefits can also be achieved from a vegetative roof including: extension of roof life, energy conservation, enhanced public relations, and conservation of municipal septic systems.