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Green Roofs

Steven G. Liescheidt, P.E., CCS, CCPR

Course Outline

This three hour online course discusses how Green roofs contribute to energy and water-saving goals both directly and indirectly. By shading the surfaces of a roof, green roofs reduce heat gain through the roof by nearly 100 percent. A green roof’s soil and vegetation layer absorbs and filters rain, preventing it from quickly becoming runoff from the roof’s surface.  This course will enable the engineer to implement a building envelop element that involves integrated design features that will give the building owner several benefits for years.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will learn about:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for mechanical, civil, structural and environmental engineers.

Benefit for Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to understand the benefits of using green roofs for a variety of applications where a variety of integrated design criteria are important to consider such as energy savings, architectural benefits, costs, codes and implementation considerations.

Course Introduction

In a "green roof," a layer of vegetation (e.g., a roof garden) covers the surface of a roof to provide shade, cooler indoor and outdoor temperatures, and effective storm-water management to reduce runoff.  The source material for this course focuses on the benefits, design, and implementation of extensive green roofs and includes criteria for their use on federal facilities.

Course Content

This course is primarily based on the Green Roofs: Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Federal Technology Alert; DOE/EE-0298

Green Roofs

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Course Summary

Because of their many energy-saving and environmental benefits, green roofs are a promising technology for energy-efficient buildings. In a green roof, a layer of vegetation covers the surface of a roof to provide shade, cool indoor and outdoor temperatures, stormwater management, and more. The main components are waterproofing, soil, and plants.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites:

United States Green Building Council –
US Department of Energy –
National Renewable Energy Laboratory –


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.