Picture: Stuttgarter Nachrichten
Picture: Stuttgarter Nachrichten
By: Samantha Yurek
On April 7th, 2014, the City of Sydney, Australia approved a Green Roofs and Walls Policy. The Policy will be carried out by the Strategic Planning and Urban Design Committee of Sydney. A three year plan, its main goal is to raise awareness of the importance of green space in urban areas as well as promote the implementation of potential green roofs and walls.
Sydney is already in the lead of the green revolution, with a total of 83 green roofs and walls throughout the city. In addition, 50-70 likely projects have been approved to construction and should be underway soon.The Green Roof Meadow at the Prince Alfred Park Pool is one of the largest in Sydney. Complete with 2,000 square meters of green space, including over 35,000 seasonal and native grasses.
The city is also home to One Central Park residential towers, featuring the world's tallest vertical garden at 33 stories. These gardens consist of 190 native Australian plants as well as 160 exotic species. Although it may not be the tallest for long - Shri Lanka is now in the running with plans to build a 46 story residential building, with multiple vertical gardens, proposed to be completed by the end of 2016.
Lucy Sharman, Sydney's Green Roofs and Walls Senior Project Officer explains, "With higher-density living and a growing population, we need to accommodate people in a healthy way and use urban space as wisely as possible." And it seems that advocating for a greener city is working. "We receive more than one development application each week for a green roof or wall," says Sharman.
The Green Roofs and Walls Policy isn't their only attempt to create a cleaner and healthier environment. The city has been working on many movements, such as 202020. Working towards 20% more green spaces in urban places by the year 2020.
If you're interested in, you may check out the whole Green Roofs and Walls Policy here.
Resiliency was the motto of the 11th Cities Alive conference held in San Francisco last week. With more than 100 speakers, the conference demonstrated once again that modern green roof technology and living architecture are essential to address resiliency by adapting to urban environmental changes and climate change. Large scale extensive green roofs without permanent irrigation or solar garden roofs are the most sustainable solution for reducing the continuously mounting costs of disasters that are weather or climate related.
The conference disclosed many new details about cutting edge designs and it is now time to see how these can be implemented, how effective and how economical they are. Especially in cities where we created habitats for ourselves with asphalt and concrete. The conference showed refreshing trends for more natural environments. It isn't known whether rooftop farms (urban farming) are a solution, but these efforts create awareness, recreation and educate about living organisms and the importance in reducing food waste.
In different presentations, the combination of solar (PV) and extensive green roofs were marked as the most efficient roof top addition with the highest payback for the owner and the environment. Our solar garden roof fits perfectly into this future trend.
Great conference and great people, thank you GRHC.
In 1992 Jörg Breuning, Green Roof Service LLC and Thomas Heuman, Heuman Gartenanlagen provided consulting services to Hundertwasser's architects, Springmann and Associates. It was quite an effort the contemporary artist and the City of Plochingen to develop an entire block of the city's historical district. This city has been around since the year 1146.
From the outside the historical buildings still remain the same and all facing to an intensive greenroof courtyard in the back. This courtyard and the backside of the buildings received an artists' distinguished signature in 1993. Efficient and gorgeous, the entire courtyard resides on a two story parking garage and grocery store, meanwhile the lush green environment above creates a different feeling. Hundreds of various plants decorate the landscape with paving materials snaking their way through to make perfect paths. The sloped roofs facing the courtyard are also fully or partially greened. Approximately fifty green roofs occupy the colorful, wavy historical buildings.
This particular construction of modern green roof technology underlines the artist's inspirations as well as supports diverse vegetation. The structure is a magnet to tourists and a true landmark of the region for over twenty years and well worth a visit!
Joe’s Paint Releases: New Instant Green Roofs
Our favorite environmental expert and green roof research specialist Joe is up to his old tricks. Joe hit the PR circuit again this week releasing a full range of new roof greening products.
Not satisfied with only offering a green roof in a can, Joe is now offering a full line of instant green roofs. His new products include a highly reflective white paint for roofs and façades. The can comes with a pair of sun glasses and two cartons of greasy sunscreen (SPF 90) for an entire neighborhood.
The best green roof and green wall product is already successful on the markets: An artificial grass mat that can be rolled out. Joe has the fake grass in multiple colors to create Blue Roofs, Brown Roofs and Red Roofs. The good thing is, that after a season you can also fill-up the landfills with toxic waste and contributing your part to a healthy growth of the economy.
Joe is very excited about the new product line and promises: “Next year we come up with an entire line of fake honeybees, polyethylene spiders and colorful plastic butterflies with remote control. Just before Christmas we will also see artificial flowers and Christmas trees (comes with a fake turkey). “
All fake grass products are tested under real conditions.
If you want to walk on grass without having a green roof we recommend the grass Flip-Flops. Retaining almost 100% sweat and you can’t run-off.
Reflective Surfaces on Buildings are an Environmental Nightmare!
A new building on London's skyline nicknamed the Walkie Talkie has been blamed for melted car parts due to the intense sunlight reflected from its glass exterior. In a broadcast for Sky-News (movie) one reporter proves that it is possible to fry an egg in the reflected sunlight. Developers say they are working to rectify the problem by coating the windows with a less reflective material. The skyscraper's magnifying glass effect will continue for the next few weeks until the sun's elevation in the sky changes.
Reflecting sun light from building reaches up to 192°F ! Good to fry eggs.
While white roofs are not typically curved and are less reflective than the glass clad skyscraper, the physics behind these surfaces are exactly the same. They both are designed to reflect a high amount of the sun light back to the atmosphere. And by doing so, the reflected sun light has a second chance of being captured by particles in the air, increasing atmospheric temperatures surrounding the buildings. Certainly London’s Walkie Talkie skyscraper is an extreme example due to the unique shape of the building. However, it shows very clearly the physics of reflective surfaces, the damage they cause to the surrounding environment and a lot about the lack of common sense of architects, researchers and self-promoted experts.
With this last example, the discussion of high albedo building coverings (above Albedo 0,55) as being environmentally friendly should be at an end. Governments (e.g. EPA, LEED) should ban reflective surfaces on buildings immediately if they are serious with their environmental programs. Whether they were blinded by incomplete research, spoiled by the Dollars of manufacturers or simply think they can trick physics, it does not matter at this point.
Green Roof and Greens Walls (with low albedo) are the better and most advanced choice - naturally.
The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning has recently renovated its headquarters in the Canton neighborhood, Baltimore, MD. A much improved exterior is soon be pair with an entirely new interior. Next month, Green Roof Technology will be installing a series of custom planters that will support a variety of vines that will adorn the walls of the Hudson Street Garage Building. A steel wire trellis system will provide the support the vines need to grow about the walls. Three new street trees will also be planted out front of the building, adding to the greening objective of the Coalition.
We are all looking forward to beginning construction in September and we will be sure to post a few pictures for you all to enjoy.
By: Samantha Yurek
Flowering plants are a common sight spotting in any hospital wing, mainly attached with get well soon tags. The new trend seems to be green that will last more than a week or two. Many hospitals and health wellness buildings are incorporating green space, much of it making an appearance on the rooftops. Staring at an attractive green landscape rather than an unappealing tar-stained rooftop has the potential to make every patient calmer and happier on a daily basis. It has been proven that views of natural landscapes have a positive effect on the emotional and mental health of those being treated, as well as those visiting.
The Baltimore Sun recently published an article in their healing section titled, Garden Rx: Hospitals and homeowners alike are investing in the therapeutic properties of landscaped places. The article highlights the addition of healing gardens in well-known hospitals in Baltimore such as Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the UMD Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Institute.
Many of these healing gardens are designed to give patients, family and employees green space to relax and learn and heal within. The addition of green roof space provides many hospital rooms with preferred views of green plant life instead of a bland, brick building. Mercy Medical Center incorporated both healing gardens within a green roof, utilizing their space for both environmental and social benefits.
But not all patients can experience the benefits of an outdoor garden consequence of a compromised immune system. Months spent in the hospital battling leukemia created a unique opportunity for one SUNY-ESF landscape architecture student, Kevan Busa. Determined to graduate on time, but confined within the walls of a hospital, Kevan completed his final project on the healing potential of landscape design from a patient's perspective. Highlighted in the June 2013 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine, Kevan explains the frustration of a poorly designed healing space. A visit to an outdoor garden is out of the question for many patients. Busa wrote, "the solution may be gardens that can be experienced from indoors, through glass. This idea may not sound terribly inviting, but it is a far preferable alternative to 100 days of brick walls."
Green roof space that can be viewed from individual hospital rooms could be the solution to a quicker healing time and happier patients.
A well-known hospital in Germany, Diakonie-Klinikum Stuttgart, has approximately 150,000 square feet of green roof along with indoor plants as large as trees. The greening of this hospital has been an ongoing process since 1990.
The Goodman’s authentic Norwegian log house and accompanying log cabin are located in Great Falls, Virginia. Set deep in the woods of Fairfax County near the Potomac River, the Goodman’s enchanting home transports you back to a simpler time in the old country. Both buildings were imported from Norway in 1971 and were reconstructed with authentic sod roofs.
By 2005 the guest cabin still retained its sod roof but the log house roof had been converted to terracotta tiles by a previous owner. When the guest cabin’s roof started leaking in 2004, Mr. Goodman decided it was time to upgrade both roofs with modern green roof technology. A sloped, single course, extensive green roof was installed on the log house and cabin in August 2005. The goal of the new green roofs was to establish stable, natural looking vegetation with a high biodiversity that through successive change would mimic the surrounding forest.
An upside-down green wall. Parthenocissus quinquefolia, commonly known as Virginia creeper, has established well on the roof and now cascades from the roof, creating a beautiful ethereal green wall.