First Advisor

Olyssa Starry

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors


Environmental Science


Green roofs (Gardening) -- Design and construction -- Therapeutic use, Gardening -- Therapeutic use, Hospital buildings -- Design and construction -- Therapeutic use, Landscape architecture -- Health aspects




Plants and planted landscapes have been recognized for their therapeutic benefits. Hospitals are increasingly adopting therapeutic landscapes like healing gardens, horticultural therapy gardens, and memory gardens. Despite this increase in the installation of healing landscapes in hospitals, the research on the therapeutic benefits of green roofs in hospital settings is limited. The primary objective of this project is to understand the current and potential uses of hospital green roofs and associated motivations for their installation. We have documented 105 hospitals nationwide which have green roofs. Of the 105 hospitals, 76 were general care. We found that 63 hospitals have accessible green roofs. Phone interviews were conducted with key stakeholders who played a major role in the planning and maintenance of these hospital green roofs. The questions focused on green roof installation motive, accessibility, and therapeutic benefits. A modified grounded theory approach was taken to analyze the qualitative portion of the surveys where both inductive coding and a priori codes were used. Themes emerging from the interviews suggest that stormwater management, energy savings, and therapeutic benefits were primary motivations for installation. Ongoing site use mapping and staff surveys will build on these interview findings. This information will be useful for determining how future green roofs can be designed for hospital settings to promote horticultural therapy.


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BUILD EXITO research program, Grant 5TL4GM118965-03

Persistent Identifier