partial image of VF logoPilot Project


Various elements related to a vertical farm will be developed and studied by faculty and staff on a smaller scale on the Clemson University campus. The location for this pilot project is the Biological Sciences greenhouse facility located on the roof of Jordan Hall.  Elements that have been proposed include an already installed 10' x 10' green roof donated by Green Roof Outfitters of Charleston, an aeroponics set-up, a vertical wall and moveable garden beds. The Intelligent River® cyberinfrastructure network will be incorporated into the elements to provide real-time remote data acquisition to monitor and operate any installed equipment and link into the Intelligent River® research portal (

Green Roof

The Green Roof Outfitters’ ( modular system is the modern method of installing green roofs. This pre-planted system blends all of the environmental and economic benefits of green roofs with a simplistic method of installation and little maintenance. Benefits of a green roof include:

• Increases Oxygen Production
• Improves Health & Horticultural Therapy
• Extends Roof Life
• Lowers Noise Level
• Reduces Stormwater Runoff
• Mitigates "Heat Island Effect"
• Energy Cost Savings
• Reduces Pollutants

The modules can be easily installed, moved to address roof maintenance issues, and even re-arranged to make different design patterns. This feature gives building owners the freedom to start with any number of modules, and easily add more at a later date. This modular system is an all-inclusive package, including: a built in drainage layer, filter fabric layer, lightweight growing media and established plants, all in an easy to transport container. There is no need for costly preparations to the roofing membrane, before or after installation, and the whole process takes a fraction of the time it takes to install a traditional green roof.

View video of the first installed element - the green roof.

Hi, I'm Michael Whitfield with Green Roof Outfitters. We are a manufacturer, installer and supplier of Green Roof Systems. We developed the modular system, which is here behind me. It's a plastic container that we developed and that we get made in South Carolina. It is one hundred percent post-consumer content materials, recycled plastics. The benefit is that it is easy to install, anybody can do it.

The reason that we partnered with Clemson is because Clemson is an agricultural school. They have all the needed tools to be able to dig in and find all the data that we need for these systems. There is not much data out there. It is kind of a new technology, green roofs; especially the modular system. So they are able to go in and see water quality, water quantity and a whole host of other things that we need to know to be able to pass on the savings and the actual numbers to our end users.