Landscape Architecture

Congratulations to Professor Richard Sutton, FASLA, for being award the American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award for Research for his work on “Seeding Green Roofs for Greater Biodiversity and lower Costs”. Green roof construction technology has come a long way, but the profession remains reliant on varieties of Sedum despite their less than-optimal biodiversity profile. This research project demonstrates that native grasses can be economically and ecologically sustainable in green roof scenarios. Looking at variables such as plant species, speed of coverage and mode of planting or seeding, the research team determined that some native grasses when installed via pelletized seeding-could thrive and meet the coverage requirements within the two-year standard. This approach reduced planting costs by about $5 per square foot. The jury lauded the project's utility for the profession, calling it "very applicable" and "research I can use tomorrow". One juror noted the project's potential scale, "If we find a strategy that can be multiplied by a million, we can have a huge impact. And this is a strategy that could be multiplied by a million."

-Kim L. Wilson