Green Roofs and their benefits to our Environment

Vancouver Convention Centre Green Roof

 

While there is a lot of talk about “green” construction, many businesses have taken the phrase more literally than others.

 

In 2010, London’s National Theater was transformed into a living wonder. This makeover began with the building being covered with a clay substance. Next, millions of grass seeds were planted onto its vertical surfaces. A short time later, London’s South Bank was as green as grass. While this particular project had a life of six weeks, the idea has been implemented around the world.

 

National Theatre grass Flytower

Grass walls are not solely for looks alone. This approach has proven to hold a variety of economical benefits as well.

 

Vancouver’s Convention Center, the first convention center in the world to receive the highest level of LEED® Certification, is equipped with a six-acre green roof. Designed as an insulator, this roof is capable of reducing utility bills up to 95 percent. This eco-friendly building has made the convention center recognized around the world after its publicity during the XXI Olympic Winter Games, where it housed media personnel for the events.

 

Beijing Green Roof

Besides the social benefits and lowering the carbon footprint, implementing a green roof or wall to a building has additional advantages, such as improved air quality. Because plants provide clean oxygen, concrete jungles can get a dose of healthier air quality with each green roof or all planted.

 

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

 

Creating a building from trees and plants is also a benefit to the other animals we share this earth with. These roofs can provide vegetation for insects and birds who otherwise may not have many options, particularly in major cities where the cement may outweigh the greenery.

 

Is a grass roof or wall something you would like to implement in your home or community?

 

Amy

Photo Credits

Vancouver Convention Center

London National Theater

Beijing Green Roof

Nanyang Art School

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