What Is Green Roof First Aid and When Do You Need It?

Posted by Ecogardens

 

A green roof, like any other system, can get sick. When that happens, you need first aid fast – but how do you recognize it?

Put down the chai latte and come out of that lotus pose for a moment. Turn off the whale songs too. We promise this won’t take long.

Okay. That’s better. Now we have a question for you:

When you imagine green roof stewardship, what do you see?

If you’re like most people, your answer is something along the lines of, Wait, green roofs need stewardship? Don’t they, like, take care of themselves?

Now, we know you regard green roofs (and green infrastructure in general) highly, but that’s not the same as knowing what’s best for an ecological system. Don’t feel bad; even some of the greatest minds in the industry occasionally forget there’s a post-handoff step: stewardship.

Sadly, not all systems get the care they need on an ongoing basis, which is where green roof first aid becomes necessary.

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Topics: Green Roofs

Why You Should Get a Rooftop Garden Today

Posted by Ecogardens

 

Rooftop gardens bring more than beauty and energy to a formerly lackluster space. They also bring nature into the city, IMPROVING human health and offering valuable real estate for plants, pollinators and other wildlife.

Ever look out your office window and seen people having drinks on a rooftop garden across the way – and feel a serious urge to gatecrash their party?

Ever wish you could turn that abandoned roof space into a plant-bedecked, fairy light-strewn Eden, right in your own building?

Ever want to increase the psychosocial and physical healing times at your hospital with an elaborate green roof space, but you’re not sure how?

You, my friend, need a rooftop garden.

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Topics: Green Roofs, Pollinators

How to Fight the Urban Heat Island Effect

Posted by Ecogardens

 

The urban heat island effect is wreaking havoc on the atmosphere, damaging human health, harming ecology and more. It’s time we do something about it.

Life on Earth exists in a delicate balance with its surroundings.

Think about it: You like being dry, but not too dry. You want to be fed, but not too full. You like being warm, but not hot. That’s because humans evolved in specific environments that conditioned us to these preferential ranges.

The same is true for non-human organisms, including microbiota, plants and animals. It’s even true for the Earth as a whole. It’s just not happy when things get too hot.

Witness: climate change. (Yes, nonbelievers, it’s really a thing. NASA says so.)

One of the biggest contributors to global warming is the urban heat island effect, and it’s time we started fighting it today.

Luckily, we’ve got an array of awesome strategies (such as green roofs!) to help reduce the high temperaturs that radiate off city infrastructure. Let’s talk problems and solutions today.

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Topics: Green Roofs

How to Figure Out What Your Green Roof Will Cost

Posted by Ecogardens

  

FIGURING OUT HOW MUCH A GREEN ROOF WILL COST IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS, AND REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING THE MANY FACTORS THAT GO INTO THE CALCULATION.

Asking “How much will my green roof cost?” is like asking “What should I wear to my sister’s wedding?” when the person at whom the question is directed has no idea what you look like, where the happy event is taking place or what your personal opinion on bowties happens to be.

Us, we like bowties … but what if you don’t? We couldn’t possibly predict that without talking to you and finding out more.

All of which is to say, it’s impossible to know how much your green roof will cost until we examine several factors. Unfortunately, therefore, there’s no way to get an instant green roof quote online.

(And if you do get one, we strongly recommend you run as fast and as far as you can. All that means is the company uses such a canned approach that the resulting roof is unlikely to last long, or to benefit you or the surrounding ecology. Booooooo.)

That said, what exactly does a smart greenroofing company consider before providing a quote? Moreover, what are the average installation and stewardship costs of the various green roof types?

Let’s take a look.

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Topics: Green Roofs

What You Need to Know About Green Roof Weight

Posted by Ecogardens

 

Green roofs are awesome, but their success hinges on the designer’s ability to account for the weight-bearing capacity of the roof and design accordingly.

In many ways, green roofs are nothing new.

Since the first prehistoric northerners put sod over their roofs, cooling their homes in the summer and keeping warmth inside during the biting winter months, humans have used the incredible power of greenery to moderate internal environments.

And feed their goats. And dress up their homes. And deal with rainfall. And be generally badass.

Seriously, though, green roofs provide a huge array of services: stormwater management, wildlife habitat, pollinator feeding zones, insulation, building protection and more.

Not, however, without one giant consideration to account for:

Weight.

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Topics: Green Roofs

What Is the Green Roof Construction Process Like?

Posted by Ecogardens

 

The green roof construction process follows a standardized design, build, steward process to ensure the best product upfront and maximum success over the long haul.

If you’re interested in helping the environment, doing your part to manage stormwater and enhancing the urban ecology our cities, there’s no better place to start than with green roof construction.

Well, actually, there’s no better place to start than a steaming mug of coffee. But then the green roof thing.

Green roof construction isn’t as simple as throwing some succulents on top of an existing roof and hoping for the best, though. In fact, green roof construction is a highly specialized process that involves deep consideration of a number of factors, a well-executed implementation phase and monitoring period, and long-term stewardship.

So grab your cuppa joe and let’s get started.

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Topics: Green Roofs

Form Versus Function: Struggling for Balance in Green Roof Aesthetics

Posted by Ecogardens

 

Form and function should play nicely together in green roofs, but an industry trend toward “instant green” is muddying the philosophy and giving consumers the wrong impression. 

Many people are confused whether green roofs are supposed to prioritize beauty, transforming a barren landscape, or function, providing important environmental services.

For some reason, this leads people to believe they have to choose one or the other, and thus is a stereotype born: Do you want a scrubby, ugly, environmentally conscious green roof? Or do you want a blingin’ rain garden, which is pretty but focuses less on the whole sustainability thing?

This, to us, is silly. Do you have to choose between peanut butter and jelly? Macaroni and cheese? Tea and biscuits?

No. No, you do not. (And obviously you like tea and biscuits. We asked your coworkers.)

The thing is, form and function play very nicely together on green roofs … but you have to take a different approach to green roof aesthetics. It’s important to understand what green really is, as well as what you can do to ensure your roof prioritizes urban ecology, stormwater and other values in addition to beauty.

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Topics: Green Roofs

What Is Green Roof Design and Why Should You Care?

Posted by Ecogardens

 

Wondering what principles go into green roof design and why they matter to urban environments more than ever? Read on.

While almost everyone has heard of green roofs at this point, the fundamentals of green roof design are a little fuzzier for most. 

The basic tenets of green roof design include combining various components to create responsive, living rooftop systems. While such systems bring a wealth of perks to our urban spaces, there is one thing they do better than anything else:

They bring the natural world into the city. They begin to heal the divide between where we live and where they live. “They” being the thousands of organisms that human activity has displaced over the last several centuries.

We want them back. And green roof design is one of the best ways to achieve that goal.

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Topics: Green Roofs

What Are Green Roof Systems and Why Do They Matter?

Posted by Ecogardens

 

Green roof systems help to heal the breach between urban environments and the wildlife they’ve displaced, and offer many other environmental benefits as well. 

Let’s play a quick game of “Would You Rather.”

Would you rather: Living or dead? Barren or green and lush? Environmentally destructive or ecologically beneficial?

Cleveland Cavaliers or LA Lakers?

Wait, that doesn’t matter. LeBron already made his decision.

Point being, we’re pretty sure that given the choice, you would choose urban spaces that buzz with pollinators, wave prettily in the breeze and surround you with a feeling of green serenity. 

That environment is totally possible on rooftops, from the tallest building to the humblest residential roof or deck. All it takes is a thorough understanding of green roof systems.

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Topics: Green Roofs, Stormwater Management