Urban & Institutional Green Roofs

green roof on hotel
Hotel Foroyar – Faroe Islands. Architects Friis & Moltke. Pic by catheadsix flickr.com

institutional green roof
L’Historial de Vendee, museum, Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne, France. Plan01 Architects, plan01.com

institutional green roof
California Academy of Sciences by Renzo Piano calacademy.org

institutional green roof
GrinGrin Building for Island City Central Park, Fukuoka pref, Japan. Architect: Toyo Ito.

grin-grinGrinGrin Building for Island City Central Park, Fukuoka pref, Japan. Architect: Toyo Ito.

institutional green roof
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore by CPG Consultants

green roofed school
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore Pic: cpgcorp.com.sg

fukuoka-pre-2ACROS Fukuoka Building

institutional green roof
ACROS Fukuoka Building, government offices and 100,000-square-foot park laid onto 15 stepped terraces.

urban green roof
The ultimate urban rooftop. Green roof with wastewater treatment capabilities. greenroofing.tumblr.com

institutional green roof
Vulcano Buono Nola Mall, Naples, Italy by Renzo Piano archdaily.com

institutional green roof
Garak Market, Seoul, South Korea. The redevelopment of the market is scheduled to last 11 years – from 2009 to 2020. Pic: worldarchitecturenews.com Architects: samoo.com

institutional green roof
Urban Green Roofs. Image flickr.com

green roofed school
Green roofed school plans, Belgium. By NL Architects via designboom.com

institutional green roof
Green roof Australia. Wildroof Landscapes.

urban green roof
Rooftop green. Richmond Street, Toronto. sentex.net

inventor77-torontoGreen Roof, Toronto. Pic: flickr.com

urban green roof
Green Roof & solar panels, Brooklyn, NY. Pic by Kieran k Meadows flickr.com

institutional green roof
Green Roof, New York City, flickr.com

institutional green roof
Green Roof for ‘bugs’ by Green Roof Consultancy, livingroofs.org Above St. James’ Tube station, UK, the roof was specifically designed for rare invertebrates.

mec's-torontoGreen roof at Mountain Equipment Coop, Toronto, Canada. Image Sookie wikimedia.org

urban green roof
Vancouver Public Library. Pic by Recollective flickr.com

urban green roof
Green roof, ZED factory display, Shanghai Expo livingroofs.org

urban green roof
busroots.org

Benefits Of Green Roofs

1) Decreases Storm Water Runoff

Green roofs are capable of retaining 60 to 100% of water during a rain event. When water falls on a typical roof, it’s often funneled off into storm water drains, collecting pollution along the way and polluting our waterways or increasing the amount of sewage to be treated. Green roofs ‘harvest’ rain water and put it to beneficial use.

2) Urban Heat Island Effect is Reduced

Vegetation reflects solar radiation that would otherwise be absorbed by roof surfaces. If an urban area has numerous green roofs (or even as few as 5%), heat island effect is markedly lowered.

3) Improving Thermal Performance

Heat flow through the roofing system is reduced by 70-90% in the summer and 10-30% in the winter.

4) Protection of the Roof Membranes

Increased longevity of roofing membranes. The plants and growing medium are absorbing the solar rays, protecting the roofing materials from UV breakdown.The green roof also shields the membrane from extreme temperature variations, another cause of hastened degradation. According to Penn State research, a green roof will lengthen roof life by two to three times.*

5) Sound Insulation

Sound proofing. An extensive green roof can reduce sound from outside by 40 decibels, while an intensive roof can reduce sound by 46-50 decibels (Peck et al. 1999).

6) Aesthetic Appeal, Public Relations and Recreational Green Space

Increased aesthetic appeal and functionality. Nature relaxes; the sight, sounds, smells, colors, and movement of plants promote psychological well-being.

7) Sustaining Local Biodiversity

When planted with native vegetation – a habitat for indigenous species.

8) Improving Air Quality and Reducing Airborne Particulates

Carbon is sequestered. Through the process of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored as carbon in biomass. As well, airborne particulates and pollution is taken up and rendered harmless by plant material.

Green Roof Resources

  • EPA Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies: Green Roofs epa.gov
  • GreenSave Calculator. Compare the cost of green roofing with conventional roofing systems. greenroofs.org

How To Start Your Own Green Roof

Written by Keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building. Keiren originally founded Inspiration Green in 2007, which merged with Insteading in 2016.

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