Green Roofs (Alex)

3 12 2008

The benefits of green roofs are incredible. After listening to the lecture on rooftop gardens and green roofs, I decided to incorporate it into the design of my different ED2 projects. After researching green roofs the benefits became more and more obvious. For instance, installing green roofs helps to reduce water retention from water runoff which can also reduce the risk of flooding, which in Winnipeg is an excellent resource. Green roofs help to filter the air, and the numerous types of vegetation it has on it helps to act as a sound insulator. Green roofs also help to reduce the need to replace or fix roofs every couple of years.

The other main benefit of having a green roof, it that is it quite obviously aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With various green patches and different types of vegetation it gives off a natural and comfortable feeling. This space can therefore easily be used as a social space such as a patio or lounging area. Different types of green roofs can also be created such as an intensive green roof that includes more flowers and vegetation that needs to be kept and maintained more, and the extensive green roofs with more trees and shrubs that require less time and energy to maintain and is also less expensive.

An area in Winnipeg that has taken over the aspect of a green roof is Mountain equipment co-op. They use both wood and different types of vegetation along with recycled metals to create a sustainable and ecologically friendly building. The Green roof also consists of native plant sand flowers that retain up to 75% of water runoff. (


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.











Gardens: Lauren Pritchard

30 11 2008

Thursday November 27th we had a guest lecturer. The lecture she gave was cocerning gardens. She discussed many different forms of gardens, more specifically she talked about roof gardens.

20080708 Chicago City Hall Green Roof.JPGA green roof atop Chicago’s City hall.

Roof gardens offer many benefits to a building. In addition to replacing the vegetation it destroyed in the construction of the site, roof gardens also are aesthetically pleasing, they can provide food, habitat, temperature control, and so much more to a space. They are really a beautiful way to give back to the environment.

The guest speaker mentioned that she believed the most effective way of creating more garden roofs would to be to make it mandatory in city planning. Many cities offer incentives or tax breaks to building s who incorporate green roofs into their buildings design. This has proved to be effective in encouraging developers to create green roofs. Germany offers incentives to its developers.   “The highest density of green roofs occurs in Germany, widely considered a leader in green roof research, technology and usage, where it is estimated that 10% of all flat roofs are green.”

Many people choose not to include to incorporate green roofs in their buildings design because they don’t see the benefits, its construction is to expansive, or they just are unaware of green roofs. Canada along wtih America have not really jumped on the green roof band wagon for many of the reasons listed above. Being as we live in Winnipeg, a very cold city many months of the year, many feel that our environment is not suitable for garden roofs, however Chicago is one of the leaders in green roofs, and there climate is not terribly different then ours. So it can be done.
 This is an image of what Chicago wishes the arial view of the city would look like. Imagine having a city where the majority of roofs are green roofs. This is a great site I used in researching garden roofs. This is a Guide to Chicago’s Green Roofing. Very interesting.

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.

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

After the Flood: Building on Higher ground and Flood Architecture- Steph M

26 11 2008

During Thursday’s lecture Professor Epp talked about the International Centre for Flood Architecture.  Flooding is a major issue all over the world right now and with global warming and rising sea levels it will continue to get worse. As Winnipeg is situated in the Red River flood plain we are also faced with many of these problems, specifically during spring runoff and with the eroding banks of the river. Currently the solution to this Winnipeg problem is to contain the river and channel it into the flood way during times of high water. After Hurricane Katrina, designers all over the world began to really think about better ways to design around water. “After the Flood: Building on Higher Ground” was an exhibit that presented proposals for replacement housing and redevelopment in New Orleans. This exhibit, composed of six spaces, shows maps, photos, and videos from the hurricane and the damage that it caused as well as new proposals for the reconstruction of the city.

Eight Inc. Received a top award for their design of a high density, 12 story, 160 unit housing community. The building is located by the Mississippi River on a high ground site and consists of commercial and residential units.


Anderson Anderson Architects also won a top award for their design of Camelback Shotgun sponge garden. This is also a high density housing unit but the landscape was designed to act as a sponge and absorb climatic impacts and slowly filter capture water and energy back into their natural ecosystems.

 Camelback Shotgun sponge garden

-Steph M