Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009 - (Page 1)

FROM THE FOUNDER GREEN ROOF INFRASTRUCTURE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE IN NEW DIRECTIONS The current economic crisis carries with it enormous opportunities for change – for pushing the envelope on new, more sustainable ways of thinking, acting and investing. The green roof industry is well-positioned to contribute, not only to the reinvigoration of the economy through the creation of thousands of green-collar jobs but, also, by helping the industry stand upon more sustainable footing by extracting greater social benefit from our built environment. The launch of the new, Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation exam in Atlanta, Georgia on June 5th – a watershed development – complements the many new policy initiatives that propel our industry forward. Commitments on the part of local governments such as the City of Toronto, which at the time of writing, was poised to become the first major city in North America to pass a by-law requiring green roofs on new buildings, are playing a role. Moreover, cities like Portland, Oregon, long a green-roof leader, have set a new target of 43 acres of green roofs by 2014. Chicago, Illinois which aims to be the greenest city in America is planning to have more than six thousand green roof projects and plant one million trees by 2020 as part of its Climate Action Plan. In the shorter term, as the article on page 4 explains, president Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package contains as much as USD $1.2 billion in revolving funds that may be applied by state governments to green roof projects over the next 12 months. In the medium term, a draft green roof bill before Congress, by Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) contains important provisions that would provide a tax incentive that, if enacted, will support widespread green roof implementation. The increasing recognition by policymakers across North America reflects a growing awareness of the fantastic job creation potential of green roofs, coupled with the fact that these systems can deliver energy savings and reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality and better manage stormwater. Jordan Richie’s article on page 24 explores efforts to better quantify these and other benefits resulting from widespread infrastructure-scale green roof implementation. Discussions will continue at the Sites to Communities Workshop on this topic during the annual GRHC conference and tradeshow in Atlanta on June 2, 2009. The article by Ray Tomalty, PhD, on page 28 explores new opportunities to think differently about green roof benefits, using novel techniques to capture and measure the economic benefits inherent in increasing property values, reducing noise, and the opportunities for public relations and marketing. The benefits of green roofs and walls may penetrate even deeper , a response to our “biophilic” nature as we learn from an interview with Yale University professor, Stephen Kellert also an author and co-editor of Biophilic Design (see page 10). Plants may help us satisfy a more fundamental human need for green; food, water or companionship, if lacking, can often lead to suffering and social malaise and, conversely, when present, contribute to human health and well-being. Perhaps the most profound benefits from the rise of the green roof industry will be those reflected in people, those who manufacture, grow, design, install and maintain these technologies along with those who enjoy them, up close and from afar. At the launch of the Jackman School green roof, (see page 26) I shall never forget the unbridled enthusiasm of the Grade Sixers who eagerly and proudly, provided the adults with a green roof tour of their school, extolling the many virtues of their wonderful project, including “don’t forget about its ability to support bees.” This enthusiasm is perhaps only matched by the pride of the urban gardener, whose rooftop bounty may quickly become essential to urban life, as we adjust to our new climate change reality and the decline of the oil years. Yes, the time has come for the green roof industry to emerge from its cocoon and take flight. I hope you will be able to join us in Atlanta where we will celebrate our collective achievements and push the envelope further than ever before! D Sincerely, Steven W. Peck, founder & president, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR SPRING 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009
From the Founder
Opportunity Knocks
New Green Roof Incentive for Toronto
The Role of Structural Engineer
On the Roof With...
Roots of Learning
Urban Farming
Pushing the Envelope on Community-Scale Research
Raising a Green Roof for Eco-Literacy
Soft-Benefit Valuation
What's New for Atlanta
GHRC Professional Development Calendar
Accreditation Milestone
Welcome New Corporate Members
Moving On

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009