Friday, July 1, 2011

Of Green Roofs, Mickey Mouse, and Petit Ermitage

What does Micky Mouse have in common with a chic West Hollywood hotel?  A green roof!  Yes, its true.  Whether you are eating a $4.00 churro or drinking a $15 martini, you will see vegetation on the roof.

While traveling through Southern California, I stayed at Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood.  A great, small hotel, it has a rooftop garden with lots of great plants.  National Geographic had a blog post by Lawrence Ferber about it from September 10, 2010, but it is no longer available.  I found a pdf of the article.  It reads in part:

 Even for Hollywood, boutique hotel Petit Ermitage boasts bragging rights to possibly the most exclusive regulars that frequent its gorgeous, private rooftop deck: hummingbirds.  The National Wildlife Federation recognizes the space as a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary. 

Tucked within a residential crevice between busy Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards, the greenery-nestled Private Rooftop Club and restaurant is one of Petit Ermitage's star attractions.

Chef Antonishek grows fresh herbs and produce on the deck's garden, including parsley, rosemary, peppermint, tomatoes, strawberries and kumquats, for use in dishes... 
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I enjoyed my stay and would recommend it my readers.  The room was well appointed and comfortable.  I wandered down the halls admiring the extensive art collection.  The obvious question is why would I leave this wonderful location for Disneyland in Annaheim.  The answer is simple: my kids.

While at Disneyland, we stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel.  Done in American Craftsman style, the enormous great lobby has very tastefully done fake rocks and wooden beams.  It is a nice place and the accommodations were nice.  However, the green roof was found in the park itself.

Right across from Big Thunder Barbecue was this small snack shop with its green roof.  I almost missed it, as subtly blends in with the rest of the vegetation.

Many criticize Disney for its inaccurate representations of history and foreign culture, but you look hard, you can find some very sophisticated gardening and a tremendous variety of vegetation.

For a short trip to California, I managed to take in two green roofs, though I missed the monster of them all, the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco.  I will let you know the next time I head out there, as it is pretty amazing.

Green Roof Video Friday - The Solaire

I hope you enjoy this video about the Solaire, an apartment building in New York City with two green roofs.  The building also has on-site water treatment as well as a 33 KW solar system.  It is LEED Gold (the first multi-family high rise to do so)!

One of the most important elements of the green roofs on the Solaire is that they reduce storm water runoff.  In New York City, property owners are assessed a tax based on the volume of storm water runoff.  Fortunately, there is a tax reduction if the building has a green roof.

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The green roofs also reduce the heating and cooling costs by insulating the roof for both the heat of the sun, as well cold winds.  The green roof also reduce the heat island effect, which is when buildings in large cities absorb the heat of the sun and release the heat through convection.  This convection can raise the city's temperature over 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest Blogger Post: Benefits of Green Roofing by Taylor Dardan

I would  like to welcome Taylor Dardan as a guest blogger and present his post, "Benefits of Green Roofing."  Please enjoy his writing and encourage others to write about green roofs.

Green roofs are increasingly popular globally because of their financial and environmental benefits. Green roofs can be used in residential as well as commercial real estate.
A major concept with all green technologies is the financial savings.   Green roofs are estimated to last almost twice as long as conventional roofs, with reducing maintenance and replacement costs. Green roofing also helps with savings on heating and cooling costs.  Sale on Select Outdoor Lighting at
When referring to the exterior of buildings and homes, green roofing has a huge positive impact on outdoor air quality. Many green roofing systems involve the absorption of carbon dioxide, and other air pollutants in the process. The plants produce oxygen, while consuming carbon dioxide.  Green roofing also combats smog, and lowers other types of air pollution.
Green roofing also provides benefits toward reduction of indoor toxins as well.   Indoor air quality is often compromised by toxins such as mold, asbestos exposure, and other harmful chemicals. The use and installation of green roofing systems can reduce the presence of potential of health risks related to these toxins.
Installing a green roofing system is a very serious undertaking. The benefits of using green roofing should continue to grow as the technology becomes more advanced and the knowledge spreads. The decision to switch to greener roofing, improves the environment, but also can improve your health and reduce your costs.