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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:44 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Green Roofs

"Green" roof unveiled by U.S. architect group showcases global trend
By PAUL BURKHARDT
26 April 2006

More information and photos : http://www.asla.org/land/050205/greenroofcentral.html

NEW YORK (AP) - An architectural organization unveiled a new "green" roof for its own building Wednesday to showcase a trend toward environmentally-friendly technology.

The leafy rooftop of the American Society of Landscape Architects building in downtown Washington is a model of the techniques used increasingly to cool temperatures, filter air, and lessen the burden on sewers by absorbing rainwater.

Visitors are surrounded on three sides by a variety of plants, and the aluminum grating that serves as a walkway is suspended over more vegetation.

Green roofs, first championed in Germany, have grown in popularity around the world, and experts predict more growth as the practice sprouts as far away as China. In North America, green roof space grew 70 percent last year.

"What you're going to see is a meteoric rise in this industry because it takes serious issues like storm water and offers multiple solutions," said Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a non-profit industry association.

Germany, which helped launch the trend beginning in the 1950s, now has 50 square miles (32,000 square acres) of green roof space and adds an additional five square miles (13 square kilometers) per year, estimates Christian Werthmann, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

Green roofs began to spread when some German cities encouraged building owners to substitute ballast and tar rooftops with vegetation. Werthmann estimates 40 German municipalities require green roofs in at least some cases.

The United States has only a fraction of the green roof space found in Germany -- but a study this month found U.S. green roof space grew 80 percent last year. North America has a total of 2,150,000 square feet (200,000 square meters), according to the study by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Chicago was the U.S. leader, planting nearly 300,000 square feet (27,900 square meters) of green roof space last year.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has described green roofs as part of an effort to make his city "the most environmentally friendly" American city. Chicago, which installed a green roof on its City Hall in 2000, has offered developers more regulatory incentives than any other North American city, Peck said.

Steven Holl, a leading U.S. architect based in New York, has designed a number of green roof projects, but says the demand is greatest at his Beijing office.

The Beijing Linked Hybrid project, a self-contained city of linked vertical buildings designed by Holl, includes hundreds of apartments as well as stores and schools, and every roof is green. Storm water collected in rooftops will help feed a self-sustaining water system to protect the buildings against water shortages in Beijing, Holl explained.

"They want it and they're willing to pay for it," Holl said of his Chinese clients.

China launched a nationwide drive last month to make energy-saving buildings that help ease fuel shortages and reduce greenhouse gases. The country has also signed an agreement with the United Nations to promote environmentally friendly practices in staging the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

While some advocates say they would like to see more North American cities implement requirements for green roofs, Werthmann warns that forcing developers could result in half-hearted efforts that do little to help the environment.

"In the states it's all voluntary, so it's a totally different push," Werthmann said.

The ASLA roof cost $946,000 (euro761,400), but the organization says two-thirds of the budget was to make the showcase roof accessible.

"The ASLA roof is only 3,000 square feet and to have people and plants together in that amount of space is unique," Werthmann said, adding that typically only maintenance staff make it onto most green roofs.

Experts say green roof installation can be as cheap as $9 per square foot, and increased property value, energy cost savings and longer life for the roof can offset the investment.

Over the last six months, Peck said he has seen green roof associations spring up in Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Next month, he is planning to announce a world green infrastructure association that will work with eastern European and developing nations to adopt green roofs.

"Green roofs should be treated as necessary infrastructure for a city," Perk said. "Like sewers and streets."
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Old April 28th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #2
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Excellent article. I was aware of the use of grass on roofs for environmental reasons but was surprised that the Germans have been doing this since the '50's and that they've got over 50 sq. miles of green roofs. I thought the whole green architecture trend was from the '80's. At any rate, it's a brilliant solution. I also like the absurdity of someone having to mow the lawn in an urban area far above the landscape!

Thanks for the article HK!
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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:01 PM   #3
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Green roofs are a very neat concept, and I support them, but I think a lot of these articles can be very misleading to people who haven't seen real life, practical green roofs.

These articles and "model" roofs always make it seem like green roofs will be rooftop parks. Or, at worst, that they'll be an attractive cover of bushes and grass.

In reality, most green roofs usually mean soil, lichen, and maybe some unkept wild grasses. They make perfect sense on an environmental or economic level - but they are rarely a huge asthetic improvement. The cost-effective ones are basically ugly lichen mats.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #4
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The next step will be to introduce urban agriculture to these green roofs.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:13 AM   #5
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When I first read this article, I thought it had to green energy.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 04:25 AM   #6
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See this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...books&v=glance


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Old November 25th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #7
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Lincoln Center Grows a Green Roof
26 October 2006
The New York Sun

There wasn't a reflecting pool, and the decrepit warehouse in the background didn't look much like the Met Opera House, but other than that, the miniature lawn installed in a Jersey City parking lot gave a visitor a good sense of what Lincoln Center's future campus lawn –– a grass roof to be installed on top of an as-yet-unnamed restaurant –– will look like. The turf was bright green; the ground, firm and dry, invited sitting or reclining. Except for the chill October wind, it was the perfect spot for a picnic.

Don't rush to pack your sandwiches, though. The green roof - part of Lincoln Center's $650 million West 65th St. redevelopment plan –– won't be installed until the spring or summer of 2009. In the meantime, the architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FX Fowle Architects, in collaboration with a turf expert, Frank Rossi, and a horticulturalist, William Harder, have been testing a mock-up of the lawn, 1/16 the size of the real one, in a little-used parking lot in New Jersey. Yesterday afternoon, the various parties assembled to check on the state of the lawn.

Over the last year, the architects and their experts have tracked the condition and appearance of three types of grass planted on the mock-up. Mr. Rossi, a professor of turfgrass science at Cornell University, said they're close to declaring a winner. A special variety of the turf-type "tall fescue" kept its color best through the winter.

The architects also wanted to try out the effectiveness of the irrigation and drainage system they had planned. Although there are many green roofs in Manhattan –– Bryant Park, above the New York Public Library stacks, is one –– Lincoln Center's lawn offers particular challenges. It may be the only curved green roof in the city. Visitors will ascend the 10,500-square-foot lawn from plaza level; at its highest points, it will be 20 feet off the plaza.

Green-roof technology has advanced dramatically in recent years. Lincoln Center's lawn will be planted on top of what's now a standard 14 inch package of waterproofing, insulation, a plastic layer to stop the roots, a moisture retention mat, a drain mat, and soil.

So far, on the mini-lawn, the system has worked well. "The whole packaged system has drained much better than we thought," one of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects, Pablo Garcia, said. "We've come out after storms, and the ground was dry."

Green roofs have become popular in cities because they absorb storm water and reduce temperatures that can be up to 10 degrees warmer in urban areas than surrounding rural ones.

"Everybody acknowledges that it's pretty unreasonable to tear cities down and make a forest again," Edmund Snodgrass, a horticulturalist and author of "Green Roof Plants," explained." The question is how can we get more vegetation in cities, because that's what will cool things down. Sidewalks and roads aren't really options, but roofs are."

Then there's the visual appeal. "A lot of good environmental practices aren't sexy to look at," Mr. Snodgrass (whose name means "short grass" in Scottish) said. "But a green roof is one of those new environmental features that's very visible and very easy for people to integrate into their consciousness."

In addition to environmental concerns, the architects wanted to "get two spaces for the price of one" –– by having both the restaurant and a lawn on the same footprint –– Kevin Rice from Diller Scofidio + Renfro said.

Mr. Rossi said that the timing of Lincoln Center's season –– essentially, fall to spring –– meant he had to choose a type of grass that would look good even in the cold months. For a while, he considered embracing the problem and choosing a grass that would forthrightly go brown in winter."That would have been an extreme look," he said. "It wasn't the look they were going for."
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Old November 25th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #8
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Fort Dunlop in Birmingham which opens on December 1st will have the largest green roof by area in the UK! Alot more buildings are using green rooves. The International Convention Centre here in Birmingham is to get one to attract back all the birds lost during the construction (even though it replaced mroe buildings). The importance of such rooves is now becming aparent as they can lower energy costs and increase wildlife once again.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #9
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Green rooves can do wonders not only for energy conservation, but also be a source of food in an urban environment. Japan has been trying to grow food in underground lit bunkers. It'll be a lot easier to do it at the roof.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 04:28 AM   #10
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Fantastic Concept, Ive always wondered why it was not a more popular practice. No doubt the energy saving possibilities are significant, but here in australia we need our normal roofs on all buildings to catch the little rain water we get, and the fact we have so little rain probably would mean that the idea wouldnt work anyway.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMAC View Post
Fantastic Concept, Ive always wondered why it was not a more popular practice. No doubt the energy saving possibilities are significant, but here in australia we need our normal roofs on all buildings to catch the little rain water we get, and the fact we have so little rain probably would mean that the idea wouldnt work anyway.
I think it'll be harder to implement in tropical regions since a roof garden can't absorb the downpours during the monsoon season, and that flat rooves pose a leaking risk to the top floors. In more temperate climates, it will make sense. While in colder climates, flat rooves for smaller buildings pose a structural risk when too much snow accumulates.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Chicago was the U.S. leader, planting nearly 300,000 square feet (27,900 square meters) of green roof space last year.
?? from http://www.greenroofs.net/

Recognized in 2004 by Guinness World Records as the largest green roof in the world, this green roof covers 454,000 square feet (~10.4 acres) atop Ford's new truck assembly plant. The green roof is a part of a comprehensive effort to revitalize the historic Ford Rouge Centre complex as a model for 21st Century sustainable manufacturing and is a significant component of a site-wide 600-acre stormwater management system. Other design objectives include the establishment of habitat at roof level, reduction in ambient temperatures, and protection of the roof membrane. The roof is key to Ford's visitor education program highlighting environmentally beneficial site and building strategies.

Award Recipients: William McDonough + Partners, Concept Design Architects

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Old December 1st, 2006, 06:58 PM   #13
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But that is just 1 big project, whereas Chicago has a more widespread coverage with many small projects. While both are good signs, the mass adoption of this concept is key to its success.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibelo View Post
Looking at this shot I was thinking why can't Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart and the other big box retailers do this?!? It would be a small price to pay for contributing to sprawl. And just think of the good PR for them!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 08:32 AM   #15
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Parliament House - Canberra, Australia

Designed by Italian Romaldo Gieurgola and situated on Capital Hill.

...built in 1988 costing $1.1 billion...

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 07:07 AM   #16
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March 23, 2007
The Window Box Gets Some Tough Competition
By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN
New York Times

CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. — It is the green season, when the rains give way to a landscape of renewal, and gardeners clutching copies of Sunset magazine’s Western Garden Book emerge exultantly from their winter dens.

In this place where the political climate, too, is green, it is perhaps not surprising to encounter a hardy new perennial in the world of horticulture — the green roof gardener.

While others nearby toil over grapes and artichokes, Cooper Scollan spends his days hunched over some 1.7 million baby sedum and other native plants destined for hillocks atop the green roof at the new California Academy of Sciences building, nearing completion in Golden Gate Park.

Mr. Scollan, 30, is a green collar worker, responsible for the safety and well-being of what soon will be the largest continuous swatch of vegetation in San Francisco. The academy, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, whom Mr. Scollan has seen only on television, will feature the country’s most technically ambitious eco-roof, the latest example of what is known in highbrow circles as “regenerative” or “living” architecture.

It is a growing movement that originated in Germany and now includes, to name a few, bottlebrush grasses and wild rye atop Chicago City Hall, succulents on the 10-acre roof of Ford’s River Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Mich., flowering chives and dianthus on the Bronx County building in New York, and, at an office building for the Gap in San Bruno, Calif., a coastal oak savannah landscape.

Though green roofs are hardly new — think of the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon — eco-roofs may represent gardening’s next frontier, as cities from Los Angeles to Chicago offer incentives, including fast-tracking development, to builders who forgo drab stretches of concrete in favor of a living roof. The reasons are pure Al Gore: the new California Academy of Sciences roof is expected to reduce storm water run-off by half. That water will then be used, instead of potable water, to flush toilets.

The design is also calculated to prevent the release of more than 405,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and substantially reduce the urban “heat island” generated by roads, sidewalks and parking lots.

More poetically for Mr. Scollan, who is fond of comparing his favorite plant, the towering blue “Pride of Tenerife,” to Marge Simpson’s hair, the poppies, strawberries, sedum and other California native plants on the roof will provide a wildlife park in the sky protected from windblown weeds and the vagaries of man. Should all go well, it will also attract the endangered San Bruno elfin butterfly, a coppery brown temptress.

Like meditation, he said, gardening is repetitive yet constantly changing. “Plants, like insects, metamorphize,” he philosophized, “transforming from a tangled mass of cells into a fig hanging in midair.”

As nursery manager for Rana Creek Habitat Restoration, an ecological design firm, Mr. Scollan is one of a growing number of green roof gardeners. According to a survey last year by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a nonprofit industry association based in Toronto, over 3 million square feet of green roofs were planted in North America in 2005, worth about $60 to $80 million. This year growth is expected to rise 125 percent, between 6 and 7 million square feet, said Steven Peck, the group’s founder.

Gardeners like Mr. Scollan are tackling challenges at once similar and distinct from “terrestrial” gardening, in the words of Ed Snodgrass, a pioneering green roof nurseryman in Maryland who writes an “Ask Ed” column for green roofs.com and is the author of the definitive “Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide” (Timber Press, 2006).

Mr. Scollan checks his brood each morning, when this stunningly pristine valley is still swaddled in mist. The plants’ environmental pedigree does not fend off nature’s whims: Mr. Scollan buys copious amounts of chunky peanut butter to put in mousetraps — 20 traps a week — to discourage mice from dining on mosses or on the prunella, a plant with tubular purple flowers beloved by hummingbirds.

Mr. Scollan personally raised the prunella from seed, hand-collected in Point Reyes, starting with a couple of hundred that, in less than a year, have generated more than 200,000 plants.

Although his enemies are typical — mites and aphids are high on the hit list — the unusual configuration of the roof has required horticultural derring-do. Mr. Piano’s third-story design resembles the downhill ski run at the Winter Olympics: it includes seven steep undulating hills. (Mr. Piano, who designed the new building for The New York Times, created his first green roof for a project in Berlin.)

Plants will adhere to the daunting slopes by way of 50,000 “bio trays,” biodegradable planters made from coconut fibers that allow roots to attach the trays to one another and also to the soil. (A waterproof membrane and fabric mats protect the roof from water.). As on all large green roofs, the soil is not dirt exactly but a gravel-like growing medium of granulated pumice, shales, clays and other minerals.

Paul Kephart, the founder of Rana Creek, calls the roof “the most challenging vegetative structure in the world.” The need for gardening ingenuity is likely to increase as green architecture gets ever more sophisticated, Mr. Kephart said. “The cultural idea of a beautiful place now includes ecology, aligning nature’s life cycles to ours,” he said.

Although less prone to weeds than earthbound gardens, green roofs tend to be drier and windier, said Mr. Snodgrass, a fifth-generation alfalfa farmer who saw a market niche and established one of the country’s first green roof nurseries. The logistics of roof gardening — in the case of the California Academy of Sciences, 2.6 million pounds of plants and soil — require immense forethought, especially the issue of weed-hauling.

“You do need to think about how you will get everything on and off the roof,” said Mr. Snodgrass. “It’s a whole different world than pulling up to the sidewalk in a pickup truck.”

Daydreaming while gardening is not a good strategy. “You have to be mindful that there’s an edge,” he said.

If drought-tolerant green roof grasses and other plants are a new American crop, pioneers like Mr. Scollan, who carries a pruner, assorted plastic frogs and a beat-up copy of Scientific American in his Honda, are brave new harvesters. His passion for plants started early: his mother has a green thumb. He first studied ornithology, including a stint in Central and South America with Roger Tory Peterson, who, he recalled, “could hear an Eastern meadowlark a quarter mile away with the radio on.”

Green architecture may one day be the equivalent of medieval cathedrals, but with living things the architectural inspiration, rather than soaring stone and glass.

For Mr. Scollan, creating life for the tops of buildings is “Jack and the Beanstalk” redux, but with an eco-twist. “Plants are the true magicians,” he said. “With just a few seeds sown, a whole new world is grown in the sky.”
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Old March 25th, 2007, 01:49 AM   #17
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In Almere (NL, east of Amsterdam) urban renewal is already taking place. New town gets a second chance; an artificial hill:

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Old March 29th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #18
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Additional resource about the green roof and combating the heat island effect : http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/strate...reenroofs.html
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #19
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Urban gardeners raise their sights
22 September 2007
Financial Times

With its sunflower-sprouting chimney stacks, prickly pears in miniskirt-wrapped plastic pots and artfully arranged mannequin parts, Anthony Samuelson's contribution to this year's Chelsea Flower Show took the creative potential of the roof garden to its limits.

In basing his design around the theme of "found objects" - the objets trouves deployed by artists such as Marcel Duchamp - Samuelson, a septuagenarian ex-film industry entrepreneur and gardening novice, cleverly exemplified the tension between urban grit and verdant respite at the heart of the roof garden's appeal.

Samuelson's scattered objects, as he describes them in his garden plan, were the kinds of things you might find abandoned on a street corner; in fact, he scoured jumble sales up and down the country. There was a clapped-out stove reinvented as a garden grill; old leather travelling trunks packed with a Chinese windmill palm; and a laptop case, rucksack and motorcycle helmet (objects he imagined belonging to the hypothetical owner of the garden, a young bachelor) incorporated into a water feature fed from a rooftop gutter.

A more or less subtle eroticism crept through the garden, as if a sign of the lasciviousness with which the city has so long been associated. In addition to those ambiguous prickly pears (the official and appropriate name for which is Opuntia vulgaris), the disassembled shop-window dummies formed various suggestive arrangements, while a chandelier-lit table awaited an intimate dinner for two. Samuelson called the whole thing Patio Povera afterarte povera , the radical urban aesthetic movement that emerged in Italy after the second world war.

The Chelsea judges were so impressed by the design that they awarded it first prize in the roof gardens category, itself entirely new this year. Yet their acclaim was restrained - overly so for Samuelson. Unlike best garden in any other category, his was awarded a silver-gilt medal - not a gold - and he ended up returning it. He said it diminished the work of his 20-strong team.

The judges' decision smacked of pusillanimity. Perhaps they should have been bolder, for the roof garden appears to be coming into its own. "We have never seen anything like it," says Sarah Bevin of London-based Urban Roof Gardens. Vertiginous property prices in the city mean its inhabitants, some finding moving prohibitively expensive, want to make the most of every inch of potential living space. Demand is so high she is having to turn clients away.

Many of those who do secure her services are adding to old buildings that were not intended to support a roof garden. That inevitably means planting is restricted. Weight is one issue; trees are probably out unless you want them crashing into your - or someone else's - living room. Exposure to the elements - wind and, in the absence of shading surrounding buildings, sunlight - is another. A roof garden is also likely to be small.

Yet such factors can be taken as defining the space rather than inhibiting it. Another Chelsea competitor, Freya Lawson, who won a silver medal, entered a roof garden meant as a smooth extension of an urban interior. Four plant beds supported oak benches, providing ample seating for dinner party members drifting through to the outside space; stainless steel panels by the artist Natasha Webb reflected plant forms within the simply laid-out square.

The typically limited size of a roof garden means "everything has to earn its place", Lawson says. Functional elements might be given a stylistic twist, such as the sculptural oak fencing she used at Chelsea. Plants "have to be real performers, providing flowers, berries and foliage and looking good in winter," she says, as well as being resilient.

"You do get a lot of weather" is how Andrew Marson, who also won silver-gilt at Chelsea, characterises rooftop gardening. Yet such spaces can, he says, be wonderful to design "because it's just you and the elements. They can also be very private if you're above everybody."

Marson used the harsh, constricted space of the rooftop to pack his garden entry with meaning. Using the motif of a sun chariot, derived from ancient Nordic beliefs that the solar body was dragged across the sky in such a vehicle, he installed a large oak chair that follows or turns away from the sun at the press of a switch. His sparse planting comprised drought-tolerant species as a comment on our ambiguous relation to the fierce star whose ill effects we - as a species - are increasingly likely to feel.

Ecological considerations also lie behind changes to urban planning laws around the world that increasingly stipulate that new buildings must have a certain amount of green space. Roof gardens can be an economical and attractive way to fulfil that requirement; it seems that almost no luxury development is now without one. Riverhouse, a new condominium block overlooking the Hudson River in New York City, has 75 per cent of its roof area - the highest proportion in the city, it boasts - given over to gardens. Across the river in New Jersey, a Trump building open for occupancy early in 2008 will be crowned with a 6,000 sq ft "great lawn".

Such purpose-built gardens allow a far greater depth of soil and more ambitious planting than do rooftop gardens on older residences. They also have considerable environmental benefits: cooling the building, improving local air quality and soaking up storm water that might otherwise cause flooding.

Dan Gerding of the Atlanta architecture firm Gerding Collaborative says such "green roofs" merely represent a rediscovery of building techniques that have been around a long time. They involve, he says, "relearning the old standards, such as rain harvesting and climate-specific design, forgotten in the era of so-called cheap energy".

Such roofs might be green but they are, so far, bland corporate plantations, rarely aesthetically challenging.

It might be time to bring in Anthony Samuelson.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #20
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hkskyline: I really appreciate the idea of most of your threads, you put quite a lot effort into this forum, that's magnificent
But it would be probably a bit more pleasant to the majority, if u could summarize ur intention a bit, so that evrybody who's interested can get the idea of the topic. Thanks in advance buddy

Btw, here's a good example of a greened roof, perhaps I'm goin to post some more pics later. It's the New Trade Fair in Stuttgart, Germany:

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