Green Roof Gone Wild in Canada

Photo: www.theguardian.comPhoto:

Green roofs are a big hit around the world as more and more people begin to see the benefits.

However, one city in Canada has taken the reigns as far as growing and maintaining one green roof.

In downtown Vancouver, visitors will find landscaper Graham Reid mowing a roof unlike any other.

Located on top of the Vancouver Convention Center, the living roof is six acres and has more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses from 25 different species from North America’s northwest region, according to The Guardian.

From collecting stormwater, creating drainage systems to water plants and reducing the Heat Island effect, green roofs are amazing.

“Green roofs provide shade and remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration, reducing temperatures of the roof surface and the surrounding air,” according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The estimated costs of installing a green roof can start at $10 per square foot for simpler versions, and $25 per square foot for extensive projects.

One company even went as far to create a “Get More Green” calculator that helps determine the benefits of green roofs.

Users can use Google Maps to calculate the annual estimated cost savings for heating, cooling and roof repair, as well as how much polluted runoff will be kept out of their local water supply.

Here are additional benefits of green roofs from EPA:

  • Reduced energy use: Green roofs absorb heat and act as insulators for buildings, reducing energy needed to provide cooling and heating.
  • Reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions: By lowering air conditioning demand, green roofs can decrease the production of associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetation can also remove air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions through dry deposition and carbon sequestration and storage.
  • Improved human health and comfort: Green roofs, by reducing heat transfer through the building roof, can improve indoor comfort and lower heat stress associated with heat waves.
  • Enhanced stormwater management and water quality: Green roofs can reduce and slow stormwater runoff in the urban environment; they also filter pollutants from rainfall.
  • Improved quality of life: Green roofs can provide aesthetic value and habitat for many species.
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