Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Manhattan's Green Roofs Grow

New York City, and Manhattan in particular, has a great collection of buildings with green roofs. Now, the city can add another series of green roofs found in Clinton Park.

Ten Arquitectos and Enrique Norten have designed a unique mixed-use structure that not only puts housing units on a diagonal, but also puts a green roof on top of each floor. Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

World Architecture News.com writes,

Each floor steps up from the one below, allowing for unobstructed views to the park and Hudson River and providing private roof terraces with green roofs on every floor.

As one can see from the picture, the amount of green roofs would appear to cover the entire footprint of the building. A green roof of this size will improve storm water runoff management, as well reduce fine particulate matter air pollution. Water Barrels and Storage

The building itself, as mentioned above is mixed-use. Again, from WAN,

...the building fills a void in the urban fabric by integrating multiple commercial uses... providing 900 housing units in the 27 floors above. The base include(s) a 50,000 sq-ft auto showroom with 250,000 sq ft of service floors below grade, a 30,000 sq-ft horse stable for the NYPD Mounted Police, a 7,500 square-foot market, a 30,000 square-foot health club, and 200 parking spaces.

The diagonal layout allows not only for multiple green roofs over a single footprint, the design also reduces the urban heat island effect by moving mass away from its neighboring buildings. This building will not only architectural interest to city, but provide much needed environmental benefits as well.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Zurich's Green Roofs

Ah, the Swiss. Known for their precision, understated elegance, and natural beauty, it is only fitting that two of their public use facilities have green roofs. Built in 2002, both the Zurich Airport and the Zurich main rail station have green roofs. $20 Off AeroGardens

According to Greenroofs.com,:

One of the largest green roof building sites in Switzerland, the new dispatch building at Kloten International Airport is Dock E, ... Sporting an extensive green roof measuring 4,000 m2 (43,056 sf), ... Completed in November 2002..., the planning group decided to install ZinCo green roof systems.

As for the train station:

During the preparation... a problem surfaced... The whole area was mapped as a ...living space for different endangered insects and reptiles whose natural environment consisted of desert-like spaces...these animals used the space between the tracks as their living space. Swiss law prohibits the destruction of such biotopes without replacement. In the search for a solution the idea of using the rooftop as a replacement was suggested and accepted...

In both cases, the Swiss were able to incorporate green roofs to reduce heating and cooling costs, improve storm water runoff, and also to create habitat. The next time you are Zurich, keep your eyes open for these green roofs. As they were completed in 2002, they should be beautifully grown in by now. Discover Top Rated Mighty Leaf Herbal Tea. Tea lovers love our delicious herbal tea blends. You will too. Save 25% on your first order!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Green Roof for Istanbul

Istanbul's Shopping Square Meydan has a very large, extensive green roof. The 54,000 square meter roof, "...is designed to provide much-needed breathing space for the city’s 14,000,000-strong population." according to Flatroof Design Technology (FDT).

The center was designed by Foreign Office Architects, of London. The center includes other very significant green features, specifically, air conditioning provided by a geothermal plant and skylights to provide natural lighting to the concourse walkways and retail stores. Cheap? No. 100% Free. Trade stocks for free on Zecco.com. The Free Trading Community. www.zecco.com

The green roof provides efficiencies in heating and cooling as well as helping to reduce air pollution. Further, the green roof helps to manage storm water runoff. Finally, the green roof also offers some of its space as a walkable park.

Green roofs for retail is not a new concept, as it is seen in Lima, Peru in the LarcoMar shopping center. Large shopping areas offer great opportunities for green roofs. In both examples, Meydan and LarcoMar offer both aesthetic beauty for the cities, as well as increased green space, and a welcoming environment for social gathering. Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Sao Paulo Green Roof - The Enkyo Project

As green roofs grow in popularity for their ability to reduce heating and cool costs, as well as reduce storm water runoff, they are becoming more popular in tropical climates.

The Enkyo Medical and Social Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil is one such building. Recently recognized with a Holcim Award for sustainable building in 2008, this building combines extensive passive features, such as a green roof, to reduce energy costs by approximately 80% of traditional buildings.

The building will be located in the Asian Quarter, known as Liberdade, and be half medical center and half social center. This locality will support both the Brazilians of Japanese origin and not. Further, the social center is designed to bring older, non-Portuguese speaking Brazilians in closer contact with their Portuguese speaking neighbors.

The building is also unique for its use of ground water in the cooling system which otherwise would have been pumped away. Additionally, the use of perforated metal screens on the building allow maximum sunlight with minimum glare, reducing the electricity costs for lighting. The architectural firm who designed the building, Shieh Arquitetos Associados, hopes these passive elements will be replicated throughout Brazil.