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Green Roofs in Urban Landscapes

It has been some 50 years since Germany began to pioneer a trend in urban development known as the green roof. MSNBC posted on the April 27, 2006:

The planted rooftop of the American Society of Landscape Architects building in downtown Washington is a model of the techniques used increasingly to cool temperatures, filter air, and lessen the burden on sewers by absorbing rainwater.

Some have seen them with their own eyes and others have seen pictures, but everyone knows that a garden on the roof is a splendid thing as long as everyone can enjoy it, not just the birds.

To add to that thought, most people seem to think that a green roof is expensive and high maintenance, the ASLA building roof project in D.C. cost some 1,000,000 US$. But that might just be a paradigm worth double-checking

Experts say green roof installation can be as cheap as $9 per square foot, and increased property value, energy cost savings and longer life for the roof can offset the investment.

Which is to say simply that the new tendency for architecture in urban spaces is the green roof. Not just because architects want them, but because homeowners and business people want them too. More and more government officials are getting interested in putting people back in contact with nature, and for good reason.

Green roofs cut down on air-pollution; they are visually enchanting and from a medical point of view, would unofficially help immensely in the fight against civilizations new diseases; unofficially aggravated by bad urban planning.

Health is the number one reason for lobbying in the direction of green roofs, but it isnt an isolated issue that only concerns the urban landscape. Everything humans do to mother nature comes back to haunt us, time and time again.

The conservation of rainwater through non-polluting methods that are ecologically sound is just one of the most important advantages to green roofs. Ecological landscape architect projects such as the column sky gardens from GreenRoofs.com are a perfect example of how this fever is catching on.

While the USA has but a fraction of the green roof space that Germany has over the last 50 years of development, the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities organization did a study with their members and discovered that from 2004 to 2005, the green roof space grew 80 percent. Definitely a trend that seems to be rising in our culture.

Every month, more and more solutions to green roofs become available to the average homeowner with little money to spend on repairs. The GreenGridR DIY Kit, to be released in May, a business of Weston Solutions Inc. is just one example of how things are generally going in that direction.

The Skyland and Garick partnership with their roofliteTM is the first American name brand to hit the market – PR News:

As the green roof industry matures in North America, rooflite(TM) certified growing media products will meet the needs of our customer base that require the availability of roof top growing media when and where they need it,” said Rick Mahoney, managing partner forThe Garick Company.

Green roofs in urban landscapes are taking back the forest little by little. And the growing trend is a good sign that new breakthroughs in research and development will show how important this concept really is for our future way of life.

Gardening and rainwater catchment systems together dont need to be heavy things that threaten to cave in. Nor do they need to be systems apart. A garden on the roof is a way to store and filter water that is very safe and economical as well as aesthetically appealing and very low maintenance.

Gardening on the roof can be cost effective, low maintenance and a great party attraction that boosts the value of the building.




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Posted in Sustainable by admin on May 19, 2006.

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