So it’s being redeveloped. Situated right by the Apple headquarters, the project is no doubt hoping to attract the young tech crowd to new shops and restaurants. They plan to welcome all to a park on the world’s largest green roof. In an area dominated by car use, the sustainable design also promises a walkable, cycle-friendly neighbourhood with integrated public transport. The plans await approval. Source: the Guardian.
Of course, Parliament House in Australia’s capitol city Canberra used a similar principle in the design chosen from a competition 1970s and landed by an American architect.
Long ago, people used sod roofs in Britain. It seemed the natural thing to do and cost little.
Wikipedia tells us: 'A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.'
In summer, green roofs can retain 70–80% of rainfall and in winter they retain 10–35% depending on their build-up, greatly reducing drainage flow rates. This enables the rainwater management system to be reduced in capacity.
Plants reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce oxygen. Green roofs cool and humidify the surrounding air and reduce the heat island effect, which is the main cause of ozone production. Plant roofs remove heavy metals, airborne particles and volatile organic compounds. The vegetation helps to filter out dust and smog particles. Nitrates and other harmful materials are absorbed by the plants out of the air and rainfall and bound within the substrate. Natural habitats provide for wildlife and bring nature back into the cities.
Planted areas are natural sound insulators too. This is very effective for buildings near airports, noisy nightclubs and factories. Source: ZinCo.
All in all, we could all benefit from turning our roof area green. Have you ever seen a green roof?