Sustainability Featured in Morris Inn Renovation

Author: Olivia Critchlow


The new Morris Inn is scheduled to open just in time for the upcoming football season after an extensive, year-long renovation. In addition to the enhanced amenities and additional space, the updated facility will also include a wide array of sustainable aspects.

The Morris Inn is the first building on campus to feature a green roof. Visible from some third floor guest rooms, the roof provides more than just a nice view. The roof has several sustainability benefits, including increased building energy efficiency, improved air quality, noise reduction and storm water management.

“The green roof is a great addition to the many storm water best management practices already employed on campus.” said Chip Farrell, Senior Environmental and Safety Specialist at Notre Dame Utilities. “It will provide a reduction in storm water run-off from the site and has the potential to reduce discharge of pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus to St. Mary’s Lake.”

Developed by LiveRoof LLC specifically for the purpose of vegetating rooftops, this green roof will be planted with a mix of drought-tolerant native plantings including several Sedum species like Summer Glory, Green Ice and Pink Chablis. These plants have water storing leaves which reduce the need for irrigation as well as provide additional insulation for the building. This mix of plants called School Spirit will provide a carpet-like effect on the roof’s surface 12 months of the year with a lively combination of fall, winter and spring colors.

“In addition to the green roof we are excited to promote the many other sustainable technologies in the building.” said Linda Kurtos, Director Office of Sustainability. A heat recovery system on the roof allows for outside air to be exchanged without losing the energy used to heat or cool the indoor air for comfort. Occupancy sensors help create greater customized ventilation rates for large spaces such as the new ballroom where the number of guests will vary by event. Energy-saving LED lighting is used in many areas throughout the building, as well as water efficient fixtures. Outside the building, high-efficiency irrigation systems and carefully chosen landscaping minimize water needs while creating beautiful natural surroundings.