Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2010 - (Page 16)

RESEARCH Dr. Brad Bass THE GROWTH OF GREEN ROOF RESEARCH INSIGHTS FROM THE OUTGOING CHAIR OF GREEN ROOFS FOR HEALTHY CITIES RESEARCH COMMITTEE By Dr. Brad Bass F or those of you who are new to green roofs or are not familiar with the research activity in this area, it is as varied as the reasons for installing a green roof. Perhaps no other technology provides so many interrelated and disparate benefits, and these are reflected in the multiple research programs that have literally sprung up in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. There are ongoing research programs into energy conservation with green roofs, stormwater runoff reduction, air quality improvement, noise reduction, mental well-being, plant survivability and biodiversity. The last few years have witnessed the emergence of new research into areas such as embodied energy and food security. Although contemporary green roof technology began in Switzerland in the 1960s and green roof research most likely began in Germany, the first discussion in North America occurred in 1998, in Toronto, supported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This lead to the first review of green roof benefits and research in English, entitled Greenbacks from Green Roofs, which in turn began the move from rooftop gardens to discussing green roof infrastructure. One result of this work was the emergence of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the first North American field site that was established on the Ottawa campus of the National Research Council in 2000. This field site was supported by the Canadian Federal Government and industry and became the model for many other field sites in North America, both for what was done right and perhaps for what was done in error. The research grew in parallel with developments in policy and design, leading to the first North American and, perhaps, the first ever conference and trade show devoted entirely to green roofs, a conference that has now become an annual event. (Join us for 8th annual conference, CitiesAlive!, to LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR SPRING 2010 be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3rd, 2010, see for details.) To date, green roof research has, in part, been driven by the needs of industry and policy. In turn, it has played a significant role in influencing both of these areas providing information to the industry and background to various local policy initiatives. These policies include reducing stormwater in Portland, Oregon, reducing the urban heat island in Chicago, improving water quality in Philadelphia and achieving all of these and other benefits in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to rooftops, this technology has been applied to walls — a direct vertical analogue to green roofs. Living walls may draw more on either horticulture or ecology as their inspiration and are often models for bringing some of the benefits of this technology to indoor environments. Just as the industry has developed, the research has followed suit. In 2008, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, with the support of a new green wall industry awarded two grants for green wall research to the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland. The North American Green Roof Research Committee provides a forum for discussing green roof research, sharing data, educating researchers, evaluating the best research each year and reviewing submissions for each conference. We welcome your interest and support of this committee. If you would like to become and active member of the Research Committee, please contact Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. In closing, I have enjoyed being the Chair of this committee for the last three years, and look forward to passing this responsibility onto fellow researcher Dr. Bill Retzlaff, associate professor and chair, department of biological sciences, Environmental Sciences Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. 16

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

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2010
From the Founder
Roofing Industry Research Summit
New LAM Editorial Advisory Board Kicks Off
On the Roof With Steve Windhager
Green Philly
Taking the Pulse
Greening the Green Roof System
More Bees, Please!
Dampening Green Roof Fire Risk
New Online Tools for Green Roof and Wall Professionals
New Corporate Members
GHRC Professional Development Calendar
Building Green Together

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2010