The Roofing department is responsible for maintaining all the roofs and skylights throughout campus. Because Boston University buildings feature a wide variety of roof styles, from jerkinhead, gambrel, and mansard to plain flat roofs, roofers must adapt their construction and maintenance techniques accordingly. Severe weather causes the majority of service requests, which are related to water damage, ice dams, and leaks.
In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability, BU has adopted white roofs on the Photonics building and on parts of Agganis Arena and FitRec. White roofs significantly reduce the amount of solar radiation that is absorbed by the roof, thus reducing the buildings’ tendency to radiate heat and contribute to the urban heat island effect. In addition, the Yawkey Center for Student Services, opened in 2012, has a green roof. The sustainable roof systems at the Yawkey Center are designed to minimize the urban heat island effect and reduce energy use by using a combination of vegetated roofing and white, reflective roofing. The vegetated roof is designed to reduce stormwater runoff by 60%. Its vegetation consists of drought-resistant plants in order to limit the need for irrigation and maintenance.