Green Roofs and the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel- Steph M

2 12 2008

In Thursday’s class we discussed the benefits of green roofs. Green roofs are a big topic right now. Many countries are implementing laws and giving benefits to building owners with green roofs. Installing these roofs may be expensive at first but they end up paying themselves off with the amount of energy saved in the building. They act as insulation and in order to put them in the roof must be strong, resulting in a better roof that will last longer and have to be replaced less. Apart from the money saved, green roofs are very beneficial to the environment. When rainwater hits the surfaces of building roofs, it collects chemicals that are on these roofs and carries them across the ground and into bodies of water. Green roofs capture the water in the soil, reducing runoff, and allow it to evaporate or slowly drain and seep into the water table as clean water. Although it is great when a building decides to install a green roof but in order for it to benefit the city, multiple green roofs need to be constructed. Green Roofs can reduce the heat island effect by reducing the amount of pavement for the sun to reflect off of. They can also act as connections between multiple green spaces and can create habitats for insects, plants and birds.

I have heard of various buildings having green roofs, such as Chicago city hall and the Winnipeg Mountain Equipment Co-op but I found a building in BC that I was very surprised to find that had a green roof.  The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver installed a green roof on the third floor terrace during the first stages of construction. This was to provide nice views for the guests in south facing rooms.   In 1994 the terrace green roof was converted into an herb garden. The chefs in the hotel restaurant get all of the herbs from this garden and it provides appealing views for the guests as well as the surrounding buildings.














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