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This offering includes a full year (12 months) of unlimited access to all GBES study tools AND continuing education for 9 different career-advancing credentials.

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Blue Roofs: Cutting Edge Stormwater Management

No Expiration


The term ‘blue roof’ is a relatively new expression. It has appeared in the context of better known types of sustainable roofing, in particular, vegetated green roofs. Many of the benefits of vegetated green roofs are related to their ability to hold water. Blue roofs can help lower peak stormwater drainage volumes, and they provide cooling through the evaporation of moisture. This course is intended for people seeking a basic knowledge of blue, or water retentive, roofs. The course begins by defining blue roofs and discussing how and why they have developed as a roof design strategy. We’ll talk about methods for creating a blue roof and look at studies comparing the effectiveness of blue roofing strategies and blue vs. green roofs. We’ll go through the LEED credits related to blue roofs and discuss blue roofs in the context of project planning. Finally, we will look at how they relate to other building systems, including stormwater reuse and renewable energy systems.

Learning Objectives

  • Contrast the benefits and drawbacks of blue roofs with those of other roofing strategies
  • Describe four strategies for creating a blue roof
  • Explain two issues to watch out for with blue roofs
  • Name three factors that influence the suitability of a particular site or existing building for a blue roof

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