Up On The Roof (Again)


You folks may recall a previous post about the new “green” roof being installed on the building where works The IP. It’s really quite interesting to watch and understand how the whole thing is put together. To paraphrase the late Alaskan senator Ted Stevens, a green roof is “not something that you just dump something on.” In fact, a green roof is highly complicated, incredibly expensive, and perhaps even a bit unproven up to this time.
So, at the risk of being a bit pedantic, The IP will bring you up to date on the progress of the green roof at the “1924 Building,” The old Richs Department Store in Downtown Atlanta, and introduce some of the basic concepts behind this growing (pardon the pun) trend.
A roof of a building, while a plane in the geometric sense, is not an earthly “plain” in any sense; it’s not really the best place to plant and grow vegetation. To get the latter to survive, and to simulate a workable variant of the natural hydrologic cycle, a lot of material engineering and specialized horticulture is required.

Above is a typical cross section of the layers of material that make up a green roof.
Of all the layers shown above, the two most important ones are the growing medium and the drainage storage layer. A common misconception about green roofs is that the plants grow in “soil” or “dirt.” This is NOT the case. That’s why they call it “media.” Media is a unique combination of materials that allow roots to establish themselves but also has rapid and consistent drainage.
The vegetation of choice for most green roofs located in a continental climate is sedum. On this green roof, six different kinds of sedum are being planted:




The below two photos were taken today, and show the plantings in place and the nature of the medium in which they grow:

To finish off this post, The IP poses a question: Where is the largest green roof in the world? Denmark?  Sweeden?  Holland?  Would you believe just outside of Detroit?  WTF? 
Well it is:
Read about Ford’s green roof here.
Blog at ya later.



2 Responses to “Up On The Roof (Again)”

  1. Can you briefly explain what the REASON for a “green roof” is? Does the greenery produce enough oxygen to make up for the expense? Does it help the building stay cool? What is the reason for it; why is it “green” (and therefore a good thing)?

  2. braincoffey Says:

    Read the article about the Ford roof for green roof rationale.

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