Building your own green roof- Monica

30 11 2008

Green roofs have many benefits and what better way to reep these benefits other than by building your own, here is a web site that takes you step by step through making a green roof for a garden shed of other small building. It is a quick and easy process that will have results in a relactively short period of time and also reclaims the land the shed takes up.


Green Roofs- Monica

30 11 2008

Green roof is a term that is frequently thrown around and how they should be  implemented on many buildings in urban settings to increase the green space in these environments. However the benefits are rarely spoken about which there are many of. So he we go; they reduce energy demand on space conditioning, and hence greenhouse gas emission, through direct shading of the roof, evapotranspiration and improved insulation values. They also improve storm water management if sufficiently implemented in an urban area, part of the rain is stored in the growing medium temporarily and will be taken up by the plants and returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration, they also delay run-off into sewage systems and therefore helping to reduce the frequency of combined sewage overflow events. The plants and the growing medium can also filter out airborne pollutants washed off in the rain, improving the quality of run-off.  They can also increase membrane durability, and  provide additional green space in urban areas which can improve the mental attitude of people in the city.

If green roofs are practised on a wide scale in a city it can help reduce the heat island affect. All of these benefits help to improve the quality of the city with improved air conditions, from increased photosynthesis, and less pressure of the cities resources during storms and heavy rain.  They are also aesthetically pleasing and provide a haven for city dwellers.

Relief Architecture+ Lauren Pritchard

28 11 2008

As we learned from Edd’s lecture last Thursday, natural disasters such as flooding can have a huge impact on design, not only in the planning of the original structure, but also in what comes next.

Dealing for what comes after the tragedy is the next step. This summer I bought a book publsihed by Architecture for Humanity, “Design like You Give A Damn.”  Relief Architecture is an area I am very interested in.  I feel it is a way in which good design can improve the quality of peoples lives.

“Architecture for Humanity represents the finest of the new breed of architectural leadership, employing architectural skills and directing them for the larger good. Committed, unapologetic ally architectural in name and mission, Architecture for Humanity stands up for people in need.”
– Robert Ivy, Editor in Chief, Architectural Record

Architecture for Humanity is involved in everything from relief efforts the day after the disaster in providing the neccessary shelter to the displaced, to eventually helping communities rebuild the site, making it  a home once a gain. There work is invaluable, and appreciated by so many.


Above is a picture of one of Architecture for Humanities projects in Sri Lanka.

“the team developed Safe(R) House, a dwelling designed to resist the force of a tsunami as well as flooding. The designers emphasized the use of locally available materials and building methods to make the house both cost effective and easy to replicate.”

Flood Architecture: Lauren Pritchard

27 11 2008

Last Thursdays class Edd Epp gave a lecture on flood architecture. More specifically The International Centre for Flood Architecture. It was a very interesting discussion not only because of the importance of this type of architecture but also because at that time in studio my group was facing the challenge of how to deal with a city that regularly floods. In architecture there are many things to be taken into consideration.  Flooding is a major issue for designers.

In Edd’s presentation he covered several flood cases and how devastated these natural disasters left the communities. Not only do we have to design in case of a disaster, but we must also design for temporary shelter as well as post disaster rebuilding. Design is involved in all aspects of a built structures life therefor we must always be thinking we can work with the environment, designing our buildings with the knowledge of the occurrences, and planning for them.

There are many areas of the world where water constantly is interlaced with the built environment, Venice, and Amsterdam for example. These great cities have perfected water design, from there canals to there bridging systems. But what happens to cities who are not adequately designed for flooding situations. Tragedy. Cities that are not prepared structurally for large quantities of water can be left in tatters. Take New Orleans for example, New Orleans was hit in 2005 by hurricane Katrina, because of New Orleans poor flood planning and inadequate flood system, 90 percent of the city flooded. Taking lives and destroying much of the city. This is an example of what can happen if flooding is not considered in design. Katrina was a powerful and dangerous hurricane by nay means, destruction of some degree was inevitable, however if sustainable flood architecture would have been implemented into New Orleans, they may have been able to protect much of the city as well as prevented many deaths.

Green Roofs

27 11 2008

Rooftop Gardens have become an integral part of design in our lives. As our age grows as designers, green roofs and rooftop gardens are going to be even more popular. So what are the benefits of this design? 

 – aesthetically pleasing
 – reduce city heat island effect
 – reduce carbon dioxide impact
 – lengthen roof life
 – reduces noise
 – reduces storm water runoff
 – improves air quality

In Winnipeg, Mountain Equipment Co-op is a leader in sustainable building. From the moment they began to build and to now, with their green roof and composting toilets they are ahead of the rest.

Mountain Equipment Co-op Store Website 

In terms of sustainable buildings in Winnipeg, the new Manitoba Hydro Building is expected to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. It’s green roof will be inhabited by mosses, grasses and lichens. Also, with a low key green roof, you do not have to water it. 

New Manitoba Hydro Project

More on Manitoba Hydro Building

– Kayla Schlosser

Disaster Architecture

27 11 2008

Branching out of flood architecture, what about other natural disasters? How do people re build after natural disasters such as earthquakes? 

This is a list of some of the companies who re build after natural disasters. They efforts are on an international level and are all very respected companies. 

An example of a model of a building built to withstand an earthquake.

How an earthquake can destroy a building. 

Tornado Resistant Homes and how they are being implemented.

stoughton_tornado_icf_house1 Concrete House Withstands Tornado Winds

– Kayla Schlosser

Mobile Art Park- Steph M

26 11 2008

The Roosevelt Island Universal Arts Center is made up of a system of interconnecting floating barges. Each barge can hold a variety of items such as skate parks, forests, wind turbines, tennis courts artist studios and much more. There are two levels to each barge and the upper level floats on a platform above the other. The barges come in different sizes depending on the activity that is on them and are able to connect in multiple different ways. Situated around Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island NY, this park network incorporates art into everyday life.











– Steph M