Life-cycle cost-benefit analysis of green roofing systems: the economic and environmental impact of installing green roofs on all atlanta public schools

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Whatley, Melvin B.
Ashuri, Baabak
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This study examines the relationship between environmental sustainability and green schools, seeking to highlight the benefits and determine the Net Present Value (NPV) installing vegetative roofs on all schools in the Atlanta Public Schools District. This study quantifies the costs and benefits of thin-layer, or extensive, green roof systems as they compare to typical flat roofs on Atlanta Public Schools. Quantifiable benefits are detailed and suggestions are made to create the means by which other social benefits may be quantified. The purpose of this thesis is to establish proof to the Atlanta Public Schools District that over a 40 year period there are more benefits associated with installing vegetative roofs on all of their flat roofs than there are costs. While some may argue that greens roof are more costly than traditional roof systems, this study provides evidence that the cumulative benefits over a 40 year life cycle associated with large scale green roof installations, such as on all Atlanta Public Schools, are greater than the initial costs incurred. Factors included in the analysis of benefits were reductions to energy/utility costs, reduced emissions, and avoided best management practices (BMPs). Other considerations include social benefits resulting from the mitigation of storm water runoff, reductions to the urban heat island, productivity level increases (students and teachers), and avoided regulatory fees.
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