Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011 - (Page 30)

INDUSTRY FIELDNOTES FROM GREENBUILD 2010 COLLABORATING TO STRENGTHEN THE LINK BETWEEN GREEN ROOFS/WALLS AND HEALTH By Whitney Austin Gray & Angela Loder n November 19th, 2010, 28 researchers, design professionals and industry experts came together for the Green Building and Health Workshop at Greenbuild 2010. The goal of the workshop, sponsored by the USGBC, was to think innovatively about how to move the agenda on green buildings and health forward. As access to nature through green roofs and green walls is an integral part of green building development, this discussion is relevant to green roof professionals interested in the health effects of their products and services. This article reviews results of the Greenbuild workshop relevant to the green roof industry. Although human health is marketed as a key driver behind green building and green roof design decisions, there is currently a dearth of research to support this connection. Measuring the health impacts of green roofs and green buildings is difficult and presents researchers with challenges in co-ordination, isolating variables and measurement. This makes it difficult for designers and developers to interpret existing research and understand the real human health impact of green roofs and green walls for building occupants and the community. In order to move the field of research forward, collaboration between experts from the fields of design, research and industry is needed in conjunction with occupant feedback. O To encourage collaboration among industry experts, design professionals and researchers, the Greenbuild workshop participants further developed a series of recommendations including: INNOVATIVE MEASURMENT TOOLS: Develop and utilize more tools to measure the effects of green roofs on human health. The USGBC is piloting two iPhone and iPad applications as part of the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) Project. Users may review information about local green buildings based on credits received and carbon index values and then compare projects to state averages. For green roofs, innovative opportunities with new technology include the ability to compare thermal and stormwater benefits, and gather user feedback on a green roof’s aesthetics. INCREASED RESEARCH CAPACITY: Currently there are few incentives to encourage the type of interdisciplinary research that is needed to understand the potential health benefits of green buildings. Two key issues that contribute to this problem are the lack of research grants available and the lack of organizational capability at the national level to provide research collaboration and scholarship. Large-scale databases on health-related measures of building design are needed with data-mining available to multiple groups to improve generalizability and consistency of data-collection methods over time. Participants commented on how it has been challenging to translate health studies into design. Providing feedback through recurring measurement, occupant feedback and facilities reports can be documented in project case studies. In this way, research may be used to market design strategies in the future and provide an opportunity for green roof experts to connect with researchers and designers so that the feedback loop is shortened, hopefully leading to design based more on evidence and experience, versus theory or standard practice. * TRANSLATION OF RESEARCH TO DESIGN: Whitney Austin Gray, LEED AP, is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her primary research is on the impact of LEED®-certified green building design on occupant health, safety, and stress in healthcare centers. She can be reached at Angela Loder is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto in the Department of Geography and the Centre for Environment. Her primary research is on the human relationship to nature in cities and its impact on health and well-being, with a focus on green roofs and the workplace. She can be reached at Please contact the authors should you be interested in contributing to this new health research group. 30 LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR WINTER 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011
The Living Architecture & Health Connection
Picnic Perfect
Green Roof Sight-Seeing
A Sacred Space
On the Roof With… Judith H. Heerwagen
A Spiritual Oasis
Therapeutic Landscapes
Active Living Walls
Lifetime Achievement Award: A Legend Remembered
Civic Award: Kelly Luckett
Research Award: Jeremy Lundholm
Fieldnotes From Greenbuild 2010
Toward Net-Zero Water Use
Learn Online
New Corporate Members
Welcome New GRPs
Cents and Sustainability

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2011