Green Roofs Rising
Healthy cities are green cities. Increasingly, that means green roofs. There is a movement underway where cities are incentivizing and even mandating that building owners and property developers devote a portion of the rooftop to green space. What began in Germany is becoming common in North America. Toronto was the first city in North America with a green roof mandate. Now, green roofs have spread to San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., Denver, and most recently Portland, Oregon.
Photo Credit: TonyTheTiger | License
Benefits to Cities Aplenty
There is no doubt that cities benefit from green roofs and ecoroofs. A network of green roofs reduces stormwater runoff. Consequently, less pollutants are washed into rivers and lakes, improving water quality and fish habitat. Converting an urban heat island into a green space provides habitat for native plants, birds and insects. Urban biodiversity is welcome in increasingly dense cities with diminishing natural spaces. Additionally, the insulating effects of adding a green roof reduces a building’s energy footprint. When this energy reduction spans an entire city, energy get conserved and existing utility capacity goes further.
Green Roof Benefits for Cities
- Reduces stormwater runoff
- Improves water quality
- Increases urban biodiversity
- Reduces energy use
Cities, Birds, and Insects – Not the Only Beneficiaries
Building owners who add a green roof will increase the life of their roof. Green roofs last up to four times as long as a traditional black roof. Increased roof life is not the only economic benefit. Converting a commercial rooftop to a vegetated green roof or adding a roof garden makes a building more livable and enjoyable, especially combined with a rooftop deck. Rooftops offer great expansion opportunities to create spaces where people can be inspired, escape without leaving the city, heal, and even be entertained. This results in happier occupants and better tenant retention.
Rooftop Decks and Green Roofs are Opportunities for:
- Building community
- Creating an urban retreat
- Transforming an unused space
- Giving new life to a tired space
- Improving experiences for residents
- Creating a pea patch or garden in the sky
- Reducing noise pollution
- Giving occupants a glimpse of nature in the city
Rooftop Decking Components
Designing a green roof with a rooftop deck is a collaborative endeavor. HDG is a roof top deck specialist and expert dealer for Buzon pedestal systems. Your project will likely require decking materials and pedestals. We regularly work with designers, landscape architects, roofing contractors, green roof consultants, building owners and property developers.
The Buzon pedestal system supports any decking surface. Because the Buzon pedestal system has varying heights and can adjust for slope, your recreation or walking space can remain level for users while freeing them from potential trip hazards like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drains, and other services.
If I had known about screw-jack pedestals earlier in my career I absolutely would have put them everywhere. I like that you can create comfortable level surfaces for people right over the top of sloped surfaces designed to drain. I also like being able to hide irrigation, plumbing, and electrical services below the surface. This is much more elegant than running conduit everywhere. – Bing Sheldon, FAIA, retired chairman and founder of SERA Architects
Buzon Pedestals International has 1000′s of installations around the world. Each project is unique and there are as many variations as there are designers and architects. If you have a question about whether Buzon pedestals are right for your project, please contact us.
Rooftop Decking Materials
There are many factors to consider in selecting decking materials for a rooftop decking application. If a walkable rooftop is part of the design you’ll want to choose Buzon pedestals. They are height-adjustable, slope correcting and accommodate a variety of decking materials including: hardwood decking tiles, wood decking, natural stone, Thermory pavers, Resysta decking, structural porcelain pavers, concrete pavers, even walkable glass pavers.
Each decking material has properties that makes them more or less desirable for a given application given the expected life of the project, environment, intended usage, maintenance, budget, rooftop loading, etc. In fact, we’ve created an application note concerning the load capacity of Buzon screwjack pedestal systems. In that application note we also explore relative roof loading for various popular rooftop decking materials.
Ready to add a Green Roof and Rooftop Deck?
It’s exciting that Portland has joined the growing list of cities who wish to green their commercial rooftops. You don’t have to be in Portland or one of the other cities leading on green roof initiatives to move ahead. There are plenty of benefits to all stakeholders involved especially if you think of the system beyond the immediate building of concern.
Let that be your queue. Whether you fit a green roof and rooftop decking application into your current or future projects know that once you do, you’ll create benefits for many. People will thank you, the city will thank you, the climate will thank you, and you may be rewarded by nature when that songbird lingers a little longer, the hummingbird visits, bees pollinate and sedum and other native plant reach for the sky.
“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in the room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” – Eliel Saarinen, Finnish Architect (1873-1950)