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Seen at the Solar Decathlon: Green Roofs

At the 2011 Solar Decathlon, where collegiate teams are displaying their super-efficient model homes for judging in Washington, D.C., Planet Forward host Frank Sesno speaks with Don Ferrier, president of Ferrier Custom Homes, about green roofs.

Using the University of Maryland WaterShed model home as a starting point, Ferrier discusses the costs and benefits of green roofs, and some of the implementations he’s been part of. Green roofs can be pricy — a large installation might run $20,000 — but see why Ferrier thinks the benefits of this cooling system can outweigh the costs.

But the real question is: Solar panels or a green roof? The Solar Decathlon’s Empowerhouse, designed by a team of students from four different schools, uses both. Planet Forward’s expert Bill Worthen of the American Institute of Architects comments via our Ask an Expert feature: