Friday, August 05, 2005

Living Roofs: Green miracles that also cool buildings

This summary is from the International Journal of Healing and Caring Newsletter 8/4/05:

Living Roofs: Green miracles that also cool buildings
by Cathy Shufro

… With 120 living roofs built or planned citywide, including one on City Hall, Chicago is pioneering a trend that has taken off across North America. The impetus came from Mayor Richard M. Daley, a proponent of green technology who was impressed by the green roofs he saw when traveling in Europe—where they’ve been built for 30 years and have become commonplace.

Building green roofs “is a very important initiative for the mayor,” says Chicago Green Projects Administrator Michael Berkshire, an urban planner. “He’s a very popular mayor, so when he gets behind something, it really means a lot.”

In a city where more than 700 people died during a July 1995 heat wave, one benefit of green roofs that was clearly important to Daley is their capacity to mitigate the “urban heat island effect” that makes cities hotter than surrounding suburbs. Higher urban temperatures derive from mile after mile of concrete and other heat-absorbing materials; in contrast, the plants on green roofs cool the air and reduce ozone formation.

Green roofs also reduce flooding and sewer overflows by absorbing rain like sponges, slowing its release and filtering out pollutants. The plants oxygenate the air, attract birds and insects and soften the urban “viewscape.” In addition, the living systems insulate roofs, keeping buildings cooler in summer and cutting electricity use. (An unexpected benefit of the Millennium Park green roof is that the South Shore Terminal directly below the park stays cool, despite the heat of the trains.)…

IJHC-WHR Observations:
Easy, economical, environmental friendly, and a preventive/cure for a variety of problems. We applaud this initiative!

Daniel J. Benor, MD
Editor, IJHC - WHR

International Journal of Healing and Caring - On line


At Sat Aug 06, 04:24:00 AM GMT+1, Blogger tylerjord said...

That's a great idea! Maybe this paper or one of our own on the topic could go under a new topic in the 'garden' room of the main site.

I'm currently rebuilding the database of the main site so that we can more easily add papers. I expect a full rebuild of the site by October.

At Wed Aug 10, 08:27:00 AM GMT+1, Blogger tylerjord said...

Green roofing in NYC


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