2017 Urban Research Awards: CO2 and Green Roofs

CO2 Fertilization in an Urban Green Roof

Earth & Environment Ph.D. candidate Sarabeth Buckley will conduct a study on the impact of increased levels of CO2 on green roofs in urban areas. Specifically, Sarabeth will purposefully expose the plants on edible green roofs to increased CO2 by directing waste carbon dioxide (produced by human respiration) from the inside of buildings to the outside.

Buckley will conduct her experiments on the roof of the College of Arts & Sciences on the Boston University Charles River Campus. She will collect CO2 data from classroom CO2 monitors and use that data to determine how much carbon dioxide her green roof plants will be exposed to with the goal of determining if increased CO2 spurs positive growth on edible plants.

Research on climate change and in particular the dependence of urban communities on external sources of good inspired Buckley to find out a way in which cities can be designed to both be more sustainable and self-sufficient while addressing causes of climate change. In addition, Sarabeth hopes to work with the BU community to establish this study as part of a network of “living labs” across the University.