green roof

Anatomy of a green roof

Anatomy of a green roof
Originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Amongst the talks at the Green Architecture Event on Saturday was one on green roofs, given by Jeff Sorrill of the Green Roof Centre. Amongst the things I learnt was that you don’t want too much organic matter on your roof- an 80:20 to 90:10 mix of rubble and soil is best- because then only the hardiest plants can survive on it. Make your roof too nutritious and you run the risk of getting larger plants with more active roots that will push the weight limits and try to work their way into your building.

A section of green roof was brought along in a fish tank and set up on a table.

A Green roof for Piccadilly Gardens

Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens, imperfectly redeveloped a few years ago and with a lawn that needs constant relaying, is to get a green roof on the crescent of food outlets that line one side. This should help compensate for the excess of concrete and paving that was laid as part of the remodelling and maybe ease the big puddles that cover the tram tracks after a heavy rain. The popular fountains in the Gardens are now being fed from a ground source of water under the area, which should also cut their impact.

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Green news from China

Two pieces of positive news from China.

The state is planning to spend $175 billion on an environmental clean up.

The money — equivalent to about 1.5 percent of GDP — is to be spent on measures including control of water pollution, improving air quality in cities and halting soil erosion, the official Xinhua news agency quoted He Bingguang, of the State Development and Reform Commission, as saying.

Sewage treatment plants would be built in 10 river valleys to dispose of waste water discharged by urban areas and part of the funds would also be used to reduce sulphur dioxide and dust in major cities.

In Beijing, the roofs are all going green, as this is an easier and cheaper way to create new green space than to try and find room at ground level.

both via TreeHugger

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Green Roof for Edinburgh's Penguins

The penguins at Edinburgh zoo have a green roof in their new enclosure.

The roof provides a viewing area for visitors and lets them get close enough to watch the zoo’s 130 king penguins, gentoos and macaronis breed and nest.

Richard Millar, technical manager at parent company Icopal, said: “Garden roofs not only look much more pleasant but they take in the rain and spread out the water or use it to grow. The lawns are drought tolerant and don’t need much watering.”

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Green roofs growing

The area of green roofing in North America grew 72% between 2004 and 2005, and by over 80% in the United States, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has announced. North American green roof infrastructure implementation increased from 1.3 million square feet in 2004 to 2.5 million square feet in 2005.

The 4th Annual Green Roof Conference, Awards and Trade Show takes place in Boston, MA, on May 11-12, 2006.

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Out of the rat race and under a green roof

Leonie Davies, a former department head with the investment bankers J P Morgan, finalised her divorce, quit her job and left London for Norfolk. There she spent four years and £400,000 building her dream eco-house. The green roofed, earth sheltered geothermally heated building has set her back more than planned, but she’s glad to be away from the city and its skewed priorities.

“I was paying a huge mortgage so that I could have a home close to my office, where I was working so that I could afford the huge mortgage on my home. I realised just how crazy that was.”

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Planting on the ceiling

Recommended by Treehugger- Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls. The book details weight bearing requirements and the various other requirements for a thriving lawn on a roof- which will improve insulation in winter and cooling in summer as well as cutting down on the amount of run off water for drainage systems to deal with.

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