To help further its commitment to education, technology and sustainability, Montclair Kimberley Academy has created a one-of-a-kind Green Roof that officially opened earlier this month, perfectly aligning with Earth Day.

The Green Roof features various stations and sections intended for multiple purposes from student engagement and experiments to a community wide weather station and application. Plus, the roof was designed with green principles in mind to ensure insulation and energy conservation within the school’s building. MKA just earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver status for the school’s Academic Center, which includes the Green Roof. LEED is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings and is helping to set the standard of how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated.

Student Engagement: The Green Roof was intended to help bring a fun and impactful hands on learning experience to students on all three campuses. Educators will have the opportunity
to lead projects from the green roof as well as incorporate English classes and communication to help inspire students with nature, poems and much more. The idea is to encourage students to touch, see and smell, taking in all that this exceptional space has to offer. The roof will also house a garden area with various herbs and planter boxes built by students.

Weatherbug Station and Application:
The Green Roof is home to a weather station that collects current weather data available to the whole community, surrounding towns and anyone who has downloaded the Weatherbug application. Did you ever wonder how far away the closest lighting strike occurred? The Weatherbug app has the ability to track weather data across the area and is available internationally, making MKA a part of a network of weather stations that spans the globe. The weather station also has a camera that shows the weather at MKA and can be seen from any computer or smartphone.

Passive Sections:
While interaction is key, the Green Roof is more than just an activity center for students and educators. Made of sedum and recycled glass, the roof insulates the building, reducing the need for air conditioning and extending the longevity of the roof. The highly reflective roof reduces the heat island effect and keeps the building cool.

Ben Rich, US Sustainability Coordinator, and Laura Zimmerman, MS Sustainability Coordinator, have worked for three years to bring the green roof from vision to reality at MKA.