Green Roofs

Topics: Green roof, Urban heat island, Roof Pages: 2 (517 words) Published: September 1, 2010
Green Roofs Nastaran Razavi
The first article “Grass roots green roof”¹ explains how a nature lover and her volunteer community install and maintain a low-cost green roof system on the roof of a 36-year-old residential building to implement storm water management. In the beginning, community disagreements, safety concerns, and structural issues prevent the progress of the green roof project, but based on the correct engineering assessments about the load capacity of, and other details about, the building, the green roof is perceived to be a better idea than the existing flat roof, and the project moves ahead. In the end, the builders of this low-cost green roof are happy about the progress, and hope that every community installs these low-cost green roofs on their residential buildings. This effort is a good example of a successful low-cost green development by a community group, which over time can make an important impact on the local environment. Also, it shows how public awareness of green roofs and their benefits on ecology can lead to a minimum-cost solution for sustainable design development. However, for me, this article raises the following question: If green roofs become common on the residential buildings of many communities, will landscape architects have a role in designing them?

The second article “High Maintenance Super Star”² describes a famous green roof in San Francisco designed by the landscape architect Renzo Piano. Inspired by the hills surrounding the city, his design is an undulating roof with lush foliage. The technology he applies in this complicated roof system for drainage and testing new products for rain water filtration, and his selection of native plants creates a super green roof, which has an important role in the ecology of the building and the neighborhood. Even though the large scale of this green roof makes it initially...
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