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Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Green Roofs

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Green Space: Going Up!

It may seem counter intuitive to have a lot of extra weight on your roof. An entire layer of growing foliage absorbing rainfall -- how can that be beneficial?

The benefits are:

-lower temperatures in the summer, insulating properties in the winter
-prevents storm drain water run-off
-air purification
-provides a micro climate for plants and insects

These factors are especially important for large, asphalt covered cities that trap heat in the summer. The run off is a big issue during heavy rainfall, because the sewer system can be easily overwhelmed, and raw sewage runs right into the local waterways.

Green roof technology is highly developed in Germany. There is a long history of houses with sod on top, especially in Northern European countries, but now the interest rising, and is altogether from a modern eco-perspective.

This video is one of the few on the subject that points out the reasons the US is slow to adopt this technology: There are no incentives in place, it is too expensive to invest in, and we have homes that have lower weight bearing capacities than in Germany. There is only one university, Penn State that teaches Green Roof technology.

Green roofs pay off in the long term. They are perfect right now for existing industrial buildings: flat top warehouses that can take the weight. Let the green space rise up!

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by Brian Kelly