Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2010 - (Page 1)

FROM THE FOUNDER URBAN AGRICULTURE DESIGNING THE EDIBLE BUILDING ENVELOPE iven the immense changes we face this century, our capacity to adapt to the changing environment is probably our greatest asset. As the fossil fuel age comes to an end, there is little doubt that this will have profound implications for our food systems. Currently, cheap transportation allows us to import large amounts of food from thousands of miles away. I can walk to my local grocery store and purchase garlic from China, tomatoes from Israel and grapes from Chile. I have no idea if the fruits and vegetables were grown in a sustainable manner, or even if this food will truly be healthy for my body. Yet in a carbon-constrained world with steadily rising oil prices it is unlikely that such a food system will remain economically viable for long. Thus the opportunity to grow food in, on and around buildings — the “edible building envelope” — promises to be an important component in the urban agriculture movement. VERTICAL FARMS The growing of food on roofs, walls and within buildings is still in its infancy but the prospects are enormous, with opportunities to stack multiple benefits upon one another. While each approach to urban agriculture has different inputs and outputs, many cities are now beginning to encourage urban agriculture in response to high rates of unemployment and a willing and able workforce. Urban areas also generate large volumes of nutrients that are wastefully land-filled, burned or flushed into oceans, lakes and rivers. Collecting, pro- G cessing and reusing these wastes through technologies such as vermiculture can help to restore some balance to Earth’s ecosystems and yield twin dividends. In cooler climates, waste heat from buildings can be captured and used to support greenhouses offsetting a reliance on burning natural gas. Interior plants help to clean the air and reduce heating and cooling costs. High-quality organic produce can be produced, not just for fancy restaurants but also to help feed inner city children. Edible building envelopes can be structured as co-operatives, providing important recreational and social infrastructure. On a recently trip to Tokyo, I visited a rooftop food production co-op that employed 10 people and rented out 300 plots to community members on a monthly basis. People rented plots for healthy food, exercise and the social aspects of community farming. In December, we will launch our first urban agriculture course during CitiesAlive! 2010 to share the current state of knowledge and spur on future edible building envelope projects to help us adapt. We hope you will join us. Sincerely, Steven W. Peck Founder & president, GRHC LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR FALL 2010 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2010

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2010
From the Founder - Urban Agriculture
Strata - T.O.’s New Green Roof Construction Standard
On the Roof With…Richard Conlin
Project - Farming for the City
Beekeeping - Diary of an Urban Apiarist
Exemplary Design - GRHC’s 2010 Awards of Excellence Winners
A Green Roof That Moves
Steeped in Ecological Design
Creating Community
A Model of Municipal Leadership
A Green Roof That Works
Like a Grassland Stream
Prairie in the City
Recycling Rainwater
Research - Increasing Urban Food Security With Extensive Green Roofs
Economic Valuation of a Rooftop Food Garden
Grhc Update - Macro-Scale Food Production
New Corporate Members
New GRPs
On Spec - Urban Agriculture — Hero or Hype?

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Fall 2010