Bill Retzlaff, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences associate dean and professor of biological sciences, won the Research Award of Excellence from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a not-for-profit association working to promote the green roof industry throughout North America. The award honors individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions to the green roof industry in research.
Retzlaff is co-director of the St. Louis metropolitan area research collaboration G.R.E.E.N. (Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network) based at SIUE. His main areas of research include evaluation of green roof and green wall technologies, sustainable green infrastructure, and sustainable use of residual waste products. Retzlaff began his sustainability work and research at SIUE more than 15 years ago. Among other things, his efforts have promoted the development of green roofs on six campus buildings, totaling more than 17,500-square-feet of green roof space.
“The benefits of green roofs depend upon the region in which they are installed,” Retzlaff illuminated. “In St. Louis, there is a significant problem with storm water runoff because of the rainfall. Green roofs can mitigate the effects of runoff, because the rainfall is retained on the roof and the plants utilize it.”
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ mission is to develop and protect the market by increasing awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs, green walls and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development and celebrations of excellence.