Green Roof Innovation
Green Roof Technology Reveals Latest Study about Mineral Wool on Living
Green Roof Innovation
Green Roof Technology Reveals Latest Study about Mineral Wool on Living
Today I we received an email by the USGBC requesting to oppose the MD House Bill 207. In the last decades the USGBC grew dramatically. Beside their originally great intention, LEED increased the costs of buildings super proportionally to the benefits for the environment.
In our opinion it is now necessary to naturally develop sustainable practices, solutions and technologies that can be much easier adopted and implemented by environmentally conscious people. With very simple tools (“rain tax”, higher taxes on energy, and responsibility for costs to reduce the negative environmental foot print of buildings etc.) the government now has a great opportunity giving back to builders and building owners the freedom of making their own decisions without the overwhelming pressure and costs from LEED.
Bill 207 helps to increase environmental consciousness of all American individuals and gives them back their freedom and responsibility in making their own decisions.
What is described as a setback by the USGBC is just a desperate reflex and fear of losing revenue and influence. USGBC must learn this lesson and USGBC has to prove that they are still competitive once Bill 207 passed.
If the USGBC can’t take this as challenge they are worthless to start with.
We support MD House Bill 207
By: Jörg Breuning
In 1999 North America discovered that modern green roof technology is more than just an exclusive garden for a few wealthy people on top of a building. Experts understood very quickly that there are unmatched advantages of bringing back nature into locations where it was before.
With this enthusiasm, a lot of environmentalists and environmental organizations started to notice various opportunities to improve, simplify or promote themselves in many ways. Some of these ideas might sound glamorous, but the bigger picture concerning nature, is often disregarded.
In a previous blog post we reported about the ridiculous reductionist research of comparing reflective roofs with green roofs. Today we want to focus on the hype of native plants for green roofs:
Many Americans call a living organism native if these organisms have been on this continent before North America was discovered by European settlers. In their naivety, they have completely forgotten how the Natives have discovered and have lived on the land hundreds to thousands of years before.
So called Native people did the same as any organism; they expanded from their original locations to secure the species. While migrating and expanding over continents, all living organisms will change their environment accordingly. Microorganisms like bacteria or macro organisms like humans follow in the same footprints in evolution. The migration of European settlers did that as well and eventually became 'native'.
For most American people (as mentioned on Wikipedia) the opposite of native is "invasive". This discrimination is completely ignorant to the fact that something must be introduced first before it is invasive, encroaching, or just simply trespassing.
It is even a bigger discrimination and ignorance of God's creation or evolution (whichever you prefer) when these people ( a lot of them call themselves experts) tell us that approximately 1,000 hectares of Bamboo scattered across the USA are a problem for when they call native species. However, at the same time, 1,000,000 hectares (1,000 times more) of genetically modified corn is not a problem. On top of this blatant discrimination, these 'tunnel-view' educated people (including LEED™) are pointing out that roofs are an ideal place for what they deem native plants.
Rooftops might be a stepping stone environment for plants that have been in North America for many thousands of years but when we try and set them up in a new place it is like a conversation of a narrowed down selection of species and disregarding the entire picture. It is obvious that history repeats itself - there are still existing reservations for Native Americans and we all know what effort this was, how discriminating this was and how much diversity, knowledge and inspiration we have lost. We are essentially treating native plants in the same way and that has nothing to do with environmental protection.
These so-called native plants must have a so-called native environment and require all the natural players (other living organisms) to thrive.
* Jeffersonia diphylla for example depends on ants to spread and what building owners want to have colonies of ants?
* The big family of Trifolium (stamped as a weed by nurseries) requires the stiff hair of animals to fulfill their natural calling - how many deer of bears do you want on your roof?
* Or shall we shoot all the birds that spread seeds from introduced trees?
The point of this blog is that any type of nature is better than covering the ground with impervious surface areas like asphalt, concrete of ground mounted solar factories. All our environmental issues are caused by the loss of natural environments. It is also much cheaper to protect these natural environments where they are and avoid relocation into reservations (such as rooftops). Simply by reducing footprints of man-made structures and concentrating human settlements to specific location allows these so-called natives organisms to thrive and to continue their journey of evolution.
By: Samantha Yurek
Or does it? We're not talking about baseball caps or a pair of mittens here. Green roofs are a living system that on their own should thrive heartily in the environment in which they reside. Not all green roofs are similar, nor should they be. Diverse climates call for various approaches in construction a green roof to handle precipitation efficiently. The vegetation for any green roof should reflect local climate and growing conditions.
Uniform systems will most likely work out fine, but depending on the region, may need constant maintenance to uphold the health of the green roof. At this point, the question is if the green roof is actually doing its job. A green roof is supposed to thrive naturally, as a part of the ecosystem. It defeats the purpose when an irrigation system is put in place or the green roof is over maintained to avoid natural diversity.
Each green roof should be unique in a way that works most efficiently for that particular location. Here at Green Roof Technology we strive to create a living space that will thrive under specific conditions. There should be very little need for additional time, effort and money once a green roof has been put in place.
"The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using
the same thinking that created the situation" - Albert Einstein
The Cradle to Cradle theory reappeared in 2002 with the release of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. A concept dedicated to mimicking nature in which products can be fully recycled. Instead of materials having a specified lifespan, they can indefinitely be transformed into other products. A design created to enrich and benefit the environment even as products are manufactured and used.
Recently, the cradle to cradle design has been proposed for a green roof project in the United Kingdom. By-products from the London Sustainable Industries Park will be collected and transformed into aggregate material used for drainage purposes on green roofs and walkways.
Green Roof Technology has many opportunities to use recycled materials in our projects - as long as the green roof's efficiency isn't compromised or becomes the neighborhood landfill.
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.
The issue of root penetration is known to most in the green roofing industry. The relatively complex world of roofing membrane compounds and organic chemistry has resulted in most green roof professionals defaulting to local instructional manuals, which default to FLL testing records. But just because a material is effective does not mean it is not harmful, e.g. lead in paint.
In 1997, Bayer Aktiengesellschaft was the assignee of Patent US 5672568 A titled “Root growth inhibitors for building materials comprising monohydric alcohol esters of mecoprop.” Root-resistant bitumen mixtures were soon marketed.
This past week the Berlin Senate’s Department for Urban Development and Environment and the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affair published a series of recommendations for the prevention of environmental pollution due to the release of the herbicide Mecoprop from root-resistant bitumen membrane sheets.
The statement reads:
Investigations at the Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resource and Conservation (EAWAG) on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) have shown that Mecoprop under natural weather exposure is released from the bitumen sheets and the precipitate is washed out.
Rain water contaminated with Mecoprop can pollute combined sewers or surface waters. Due to the low rate of elimination in sewage treatment plants results in a particularly high risk potential. In a decentralized rainwater infiltration system there is a risk of soil and groundwater contamination. (Translated from the German)
The report goes on to make simple recommendations. The first says the use of bituminous membranes impregnated with Mecoprop should not be used unless absolutely necessary for structural reasons. Second, they should never be used in protected water areas.
Green Roof Technology is against any use of herbicides in green roof construction or maintenance. For more information on how to protect your building against root penetration without the use of poisonous herbicides please contact our office.