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Impact of Green Roofs on Stormwater
Project to Quantify Impact of Green Roofs on Stormwater Management
Oregon BEST Commercialization Grant helps Columbia Green Technologies develop tool to aid engineers, architects incorporate green roofs into new construction
PORTLAND, Ore. – As stormwater management becomes a higher priority for cities nationwide, the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) has awarded a commercialization grant to a collaborative project involving green roof researchers at Portland State University and Columbia Green Technologies, a Portland, Oregon, company with a green roof system it hopes will become an integral part of stormwater mitigation in new commercial construction.
The grant will help provide Columbia Green Technologies (CGT) with specialized research and engineering to quantify the benefits of the company’s eco-roof product in managing urban stormwater runoff.
Responding to environmental regulations and fines for combined sewer overflows, urban planners are looking at green roofs as a way to slow stormwater runoff so it doesn’t overwhelm sewer systems and contaminate waterways during heavy weather events.
With help from a PSU research team led by Graig Spolek, the CGT project will develop tools that can be utilized by civil engineers to accurately characterize and design eco-roof systems to address stormwater runoff challenges in a variety of climates. Spolek is a world renowned green roof expert and Member Faculty of Oregon BEST.
The funding will also help the company develop the next generation of its interlocking green roof system, speeding the transition of green roofs from a custom option for each building to a product that can be engineered into any construction project from the initial design.
“The green roof industry is still in its infancy, with lots of claims being made but very little data to back up those claims,” said Greg Love, Chief Operation Officer of CGT. “By collaborating with PSU, we will obtain the data and modeling we need—data currently not available, which will help us evolve our products and sell more customized systems. This project will enable engineers and architects to design green roofs on new buildings, knowing exactly how the roof will retain and detain stormwater runoff.”
The $80,000 grant is part of $1 million in Commercialization Grants that Oregon BEST is awarding this year to fast-track commercialization of the state’s most promising cleantech products and technologies being co-developed by university researchers and private businesses.
“From a commercialization standpoint, Oregon BEST understood what we were trying to do and saw how they could connect us to university-based research expertise,” Love said. “We’re doubly blessed to have PSU, with its world renowned green roof research, right here in Portland with us. That resonates with other cities when we say we’re a Portland-based company working with Portland State University and Oregon BEST.”
This is the fifth Commercialization Grant Oregon BEST has announced this year.
“We’re pleased to be able to target our Commercialization Program grant funds to help this Oregon company not only improve stormwater management, but ultimately create jobs and build Oregon’s reputation as a green building innovator,” said David Kenney, President and Executive Director of Oregon BEST. “The opportunity to create scale in terms of both job creation and environmental impact is very significant with Columbia Green’s technology."
About Columbia Green Technologies http://columbia-green.com
Columbia Green is an eco-technology company whose core technologies are based in vegetative roofs and sustainable functions that help manage the quality/quantity of stormwater, energy use, and air/water pollution. Cities across the world are using vegetative roofs to manage these environmental issues. Columbia Green is a USA manufacturer - delivering product through both domestic and international channels to meet these needs.
About Oregon BEST http://oregonbest.org
The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) is the nexus for clean technology innovation, building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Since establishment in 2007, Oregon BEST’s 210-plus Member Faculty have generated more than $60 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of seven shared-user research facilities. Oregon BEST Commercialization Grants are awarded to collaborations between entrepreneurs and Oregon BEST member faculty at partner universities. The first four Commercialization Grant awardees from 2011 have secured more than $1.5 million in follow-on funding, more than six times the total grant amount awarded.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Gregg Kleiner, Oregon BEST, 541-740-9654
SOURCES: David Kenney, Oregon BEST, 503-725-9849; Greg Love, Columbia Green, 503-327-8723
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