Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2019

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Green roof construction continues to grow in popularity in North America due to the environmental benefits they provide, an increase in interest in green building and the enactment of regulations and the offer of incentives by various governmental bodies. Aesthetics aside, the benefits of green, or vegetated roofs include better stormwater management, reduction of the urban heat island effect, removal of carbon from, and release of oxygen into, the atmosphere, added habitat for birds and insects, decreased energy costs for the building's tenants and increased life of the building's roof membrane. Of these, stormwater management seems to be the main impetus for the regulations and incentives. In the book, The Green Roof Manual by Edmund C. Snodgrass and Linda McIntyre, the authors note "stormwater management infrastructure is overburdened in many cities, and green roofs are one way to take some of the pressure off by mitigating runoff into those systems." Above: The Chicago Department of Buildings expedited building permits for projects that incorporated green building techniques, such as green roofs, and pursued LEED® certification from the USGBC. This building located in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood features an 8-inch-deep, built-in-place green roof system planted with perennial starts and seeded with meadow plants. Its maximum saturated weight is 36 pounds per square foot. Middle: Stormwater management at Frostburg State University in Maryland was improved by the Gira Center for Communications & Information Technology's green roof, which was designed by Site Resources Inc. and showcases sedums and sedges arranged in arcs around two observation platforms. Downspouts direct roof rainwater to the base of the building and then daylight the water into narrow open concrete runnels. Two counties in the state (though the university was not in either of them) offered incentives for green roof installations. Montgomery County's Rainscapes Rewards Program provided rebates up to $10,000 for approved stormwater management systems, and Anne Arundel County allowed a tax credit of 10% of the cost of such an installation to be taken per year for five years, again up to $10,000. PHOTO: SRI 50 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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