By Kat Harrold
Photo ~ Kat Harrold
Last week the North American Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference was held in the rapidly becoming emerald city of Philadelphia. The conference was a very rich event in terms of contacts and the latest and greatest in developments in the green roof and green wall industry.
This year brought some new technology with us to show off one of the best solutions for combining solar and green roofs. The black plastic component resembling as shark fin that took center stage at our booth is one of the latest developments in drainage boards world wide. The drainage board feature a built stand for the solar panel allowing the weight of the green roof to ballast the solar panel stand. By utilizing this set up one can take advantage of the stormwater benefits of the green roof as well as the energy producing benefits of the solar panel. The other added benefit of this set up is that the green roof keeps the solar panel cooler preventing it from over heating and allowing it to produce energy more efficiently during the cooler months. This new development was very popular this year and we look forward to the promotion of solar green roofs in the future.
Aside from the trade show there were also very high quality networking events and informative lectures taught by some of the industries finest. One of my personal favorites was a lecture about green roof mapping in Germany by Professor Manfred Kohler. By using ideas from this lecture, if we could map and stay current with green roofs being built in North America we could better monitor the health and performance of these roofs to truly document and take advantage of their stormwater benefits. This could also be very useful in trying to create green ways for migratory birds.
Over all it was a wonderful conference and the solar drainage board made it back safely despite the wind's best efforts!
Can't wait to see everyone at the 10th Cities Alive conference in Chicago!