The Green Roof Learning Center at Boston Latin School
Studio G Architects engaged students in a participatory design process to create a multi-level, multi-dimensional sustainable roofscape at the nation’s oldest school. The design reflects several goals: to reduce CO2 emissions; offer new opportunities for science study; demonstrate different micro-environments and green roof systems, offering longitudinal study of the efficacy of each; and create a replicable model of sustainability for other schools.
Light courts visible at multiple floors will have extensive vegetated roof systems, and the upper roof will be transformed into a series of linked learning spaces. A rooftop greenhouse and culinary gardens will supply fresh produce to the school cafeteria. A learning laboratory for science, environment and technology can be broken into multiple classrooms, with accessible photovoltaic panels, roof-mounted wind turbines, a weather station, CO2 measuring devices, and other data collection equipment. Movable equipment and furnishings guarantee flexibility for multiple activities. Adjacent to the learning lab is an art and contemplation garden, “Giverny at BLS,” with a shallow pool on one side, and local fruit trees and shrubs on the other. From it, a path curves through an intensive woodland garden back to the rooftop farm. An extensively planted upland meadow extends east--west the length of the building at the north side. At the south side and gym roof, photovoltaic and solar thermal panels will be deployed toward the school’s electricity and hot water needs.