Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55

OPINION

2

In parallel, and perhaps as a result of these shifts in professional
practice and legislation, the increase in availability of manufactured
materials and systems such as green roofs, green walls, pavement
systems and solar photovoltaic arrays - designed to mitigate
environmental degradation and improve ecological functioning -
has generated a global economy worth billions.
GREEN TECHNOLOGIES: THE PITFALLS
Clearly, the adoption of green building practices is predicated on
the concurrent, and often synchronized, changes to legislation,
technology, professional practice, education and the economy. The
main question is whether there is sufficient assessment of the
effectiveness of green technologies in the long term.
Designers, often lacking input from ecologists or engineers,
apply green technologies as per the information they receive from
manufacturers, or from literature and guidelines that are overgeneralized, and which do not take into account specific regional
conditions. Despite the best intentions, manufacturers must give
priority to the bottom line. Investing in research and retooling is
expensive and requires a long-term commitment. And government
programs and standards are limited by the available information
at the time of adoption. The development of a review process to
evaluate building codes is contingent upon political cycles and budget.
GAUGING PERFORMANCE
Without a doubt, post-occupancy evaluation of green construction
is still in its infancy. Furthermore, the cross-communication
between academics, professionals, industry and policy makers
that is necessary for a comprehensive evaluation is far from
routine. A few examples illustrate this point. PhD Candidate in
Civil Engineering and GRIT Lab Researcher Jenny Hill has recently

undertaken a study of maturing green roofs, in collaboration with
industrial partner Terry McGlade of Flynn. They found that in these
pioneering installations, the long-term perception of success was
linked to management practices and client expectations regarding
natural changes in the plant community over a number of years.
This paper, presented at Cities Alive 2014, also includes some
preliminary data countering a commonly held belief; that green roof
media with high organic content would compact or collapse after a
number of years.
In two recent publications, PhD candidate in Biology and GRIT
Lab researcher Scott MacIvor demonstrates that green roofs
built above the eighth floor are colonized significantly less by
nesting bees and wasps than on shorter buildings (MacIvor, 2015
Israeli Journal of Ecology and Evolution: Green Roof Special Issue),
and exotic bees visit Sedum (the industry standard green roof
vegetation) significantly more than native ones (MacIvor, Ruttan,
Salehi, 2014 Urban Ecosystems). These findings have obvious
implications for habitat value and biodiversity, given that many new
green roofs are installed atop new residential and office towers
that exceed twenty stories and Sedum is the most widely planted
vegetation on green roofs.
There is also a lack of literature on the embedded energy costs
and greenhouse emissions associated with the manufacturing
and transport of green roof products - which typically contain
plastics and mined mineral aggregate - relative to their water,
energy and ecological benefits. Another missed opportunity is the
shortage of integrated systems, whereby multiple types of green
technologies are designed in concert to optimize or stack functions.
For example, green roofs are rarely installed in combination with
solar photovoltaic arrays, despite the potential co-benefits of
increased energy production and improved water management.
2015 vol. 17_no. 1 55



Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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