Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Green roofs and walls

I've made a couple of cool discoveries over the past couple of days and wanted to share them.

First, in our quest to find the perfect wedding venue, my fiancee and I took to Durham, NC. While we didn't find a spot for vows, we did find a new parking garage at Duke -- complete with greenroofs and walls. A couple of photos, and a couple of links:

Here's some information and a few graphics that picture areas that I couldn't capture.

The garage follows tenets outlined in the New Campus Master Plan (essentially, the redevelopment of the old Central Campus).

Second, I got a note from a client yesterday with images of a greenroof we installed at the end of last summer (see below). So far, so good! The sedum should fill in the gaps this summer.

Last, but not least: Columbia and Con Ed have teamed to assess the insulating and cooling capacities of cool roofs (white roofs and greenroofs) vs. conventional black roofs (tar beaches!). In a very interesting study released last week, the group found that green and white roofs perform roughly equally in preventing heat island effect (through evapotranspiration and albedo, respectively) and that each limited temperature variability enough to produce modest energy savings. There is concern, however, that the performance of older white roofs may suffer since the reflectance of these roofs declines as they age. White roofs also lack the ability to moderate water flow, improve air and water quality, provide habitat and recreation space, and improve aesthetics for nearby neighbors, six of the primary motivators for greenroof installation. A very interesting study and I look forward to reading future research findings...

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