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    Greening Rooftops

    by ArchitectureWeek

    Green roofs topped with soil and living plants have well known benefits to the buildings beneath them. They provide thermal and sound insulation and can prolong roof life. They also offer healthful benefits to their urban surroundings.

    So says Steven Peck, executive director of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Other potential benefits of so-called "naturalized" rooftops include stormwater management, urban food production, air pollution reduction, and urban heat island temperature modification.

    At the "Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities" conference that was held in Chicago in May 2003, Peck and other organizers announced awards for six exemplary projects selected for the lessons they offer to both the general public and design professionals.

    The awards program had six categories: retrofit and new construction for "extensive" green roofs, for "intensive" green roofs, and for a combination of extensive and intensive. Extensive greens roofs are defined as those with a growing medium of six inches (150 millimeters) or shallower, and intensive green roof have a growing medium over six inches (150 millimeters).

    Green Roof as Public Demonstration

    Receiving the "retrofit intensive" award was the Garden Room in Shorewood, Wisconsin by landscape architects, Buettner and Associates. Half of the 4,000-square-foot (370-square-meter) roof of a rehabilitated garden store is a demonstration garden displaying merchandise and educating consumers about hardy urban plants. The Garden Room's concrete roof deck is covered with a Siplast Teranap waterproof membrane, an Aqua Pore subsurface low-volume irrigation system, a root barrier, insulation, drainage layer, and growing medium.   >>>

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    The "Garden Room" in Shorewood, Wisconsin by landscape architects Buettner and Associates, has a roof that supports a wide range of hardy native and non-native perennials, vines, ornamental grasses, trees, and shrubs.
    Photo: Courtesy Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

    ArchWeek Image

    An award-winning "intensive" green roof was designed by Number Ten Architectural Group for the Ducks Unlimited National Headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The roofs are planted with a variety of native prairie grasses and flowers and have become habitat for birds and ground squirrels.
    Photo: Courtesy Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

     

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