The Green Report - UCC's Win-Win Efficiency Efforts

Green Roof at BGMS

Green Roof at BGMSAs part of the new addition of three classrooms to Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School to allow for science program expansion, a green roof was installed over 1500 square feet of the existing two story gymnasium. The roof remains visible to the students and visitors and will be incorporated into science education curriculum for 1st – 8th grade.

The vegetation on the roof, which was planted late last year, is in full bloom this summer and contains a number of different Sedum plants. Sedum plants make excellent green roofing plants because they are succulent and have good drought resistance for the summer months by storing water in their leaves. They are small, ground spreading plants that protect the roof membrane, and tolerate the harsh winter.

Benefits of the green roof include:

  • Extension of roof life as plants and soil act as a protective shield
  • Reduction of heating and cooling costs with added insulation affect
  • Reduction of storm water run-off and water conservation
  • Noise reduction
  • Habitat creation for butterflies, insects and songbirds

Program supported by Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Energy Efficient Lighting

The gyms at the Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School and Elementary School are whiter and brighter these days with the installation of 81 new light fixtures containing 460 new high energy-efficient florescent bulbs. The new lamps use about half the energy of previous bulbs and will ultimately save utility costs. Due to the increased brightness not all fixtures need to be on at any given time. Additionally, the previous lighting had a slow start up, taking 3-5 minutes to fully illuminate; the new lighting turns on in seconds.

Between reduced maintenance and replacement costs and increased energy-efficiency, the new lighting has aesthetic, financial and environmental benefits.

New School Floors

When you look up and down the school, you see a complete energy overhaul. New polished concrete floors throughout the schools and the lower level of the UCC Main building creates a pathway to financial and energy savings for years to come. Polished concrete reduces energy and maintenance costs through reduction of stains and wear that would require waxing with chemicals. Additionally, the reflective properties of polished concrete will increase ambient lighting in building also contributing savings.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2010 UCC Newsletter. To sign up for the UCC Newsletter, click here.

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