Winnipeg Green Roofs (Alex)

3 12 2008

Is it difficult for Winnipeg to take part in green roofs as much as other cities. Winnipeg although has wonderful springs and summers and falls, also happens to have extremely cold winters. Thus possibly making it difficult for green roofs to flourish as in different warmer cities like California. However is this really a barrier or simply a way to re-think and re-design a space?

There are basically 2 different types of green roofs. There is the intensive and the extensive green roofs. Intensive green roofs are characterized by thick soil depths (8″ – 4′), heavy weights and elaborate plantings that include shrubs and trees. Intensive green roofs are installed primarily over concrete roof decks to withstand the weight requirements. These park-like green roofs can be at or above grade and require considerable maintenance to sustain their aesthetic appearance. (http://www.garlandco.com/green-roof-types.html) Intensive green roofs are also more expensive but seem to be more visually appealing to the eye. Their is also the extensive green roof. Extensive green roofs are much lighter in weight with soil depths ranging from 3″ to 7″. Due to the shallow soils and the extreme environment on many roofs, plants are typically low growing ground cover that are extremely sun and drought tolerant. Extensive green roofs can be installed over various roof decks; however, a structural engineer should always first inspect the structure to define it weight load limitations. Although (http://www.garlandco.com/green-roof-types.html)

So what type of green roof would be most appropriate in Winnipeg. Due to the nature of Winnipeg a extensive green roof would seemingly be better. Because flowers and certain shrubs would not survive the winter climates, having a intensive green roof would only die in the long winter mmonth’s. To keep a green roof all year round a extensive roof with various trees and shrubs would seem like the best choice. They types of vegetation that should probably be chosen would be something in the same category as perhaps the evergreen family. You can get various vines shrubs and trees that keeps their leaves all year round and is relatively low maintenance, therefore allowing for a all year round green roof in Winnipeg.

an example of a extensive green roof.

http://jetsongreen.typepad.com/jetson_green/images/2007/04/27/fukuoka_side.jpg

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