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. ( 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 (

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.


Rock can soak up Carbon Dioxide- Steph M

11 11 2008

Geologist Peter Kelemen and geochemist Juerg Matter have discovered that the rock peridotite can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into solid materials such as calcite. This is the most common rock found in the Earth’s mantle but is only found in a couple places on the earth’s crust. It is found mostly in Oman but can also be found in Papua New Guinea, Caledonia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea and in small amounts in California. Scientists say that the process can permanently store 2 billion of the 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide that are emitted from human activity each year.

Bamboo Flooring

10 11 2008

A relatively new building material coming into the market in a pretty big way is bamboo flooring. Everyone wants hardwood floors nowadays and bamboo is an eco-alternative to that. Bamboo is actually about 10% harder than some hardwoods and it grows very quickly, only taking 5-6 years for it to reach full maturity. It also instantly regenerates meaning it is considered a renewable and sustainable resource. 

BambooVA.jpg Example of Bamboo Flooring

Teragren is a huge leader in bamboo flooring and bamboo products. Their products are shipped from China but they also believe in fair wages for workers in the plants, which is something that some businesses lack, because due to the nature of bamboo growth, it must be harvested typically from Asia. 

There are so many options open when building with Bamboo. This is just the beginning of looking at different building materials.

– Kayla Schlosser

Mycodiesel the Solution to Fossil Fuels- Steph M

4 11 2008

Montana state plant scientist, Gary Strobel has discovered that the ulmo tree, found in Patagonian rainforest produces a chemical that is similar to diesel. Strobel calls this chemical mycodiesel. Although this is in the early stages of discovery, this is a possible solution to the depletion of fossil fuels. This product is supposed to be able to be pumped into tanks and used in cars.

– Steph M.

mushrooms as insulation- Monica

1 11 2008

here is a video of a new insulation product made from mushrooms. this new product is an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum based insulation. i think this is a really good product and has great potential to change the way we insulate our houses in the future. This product is also fire resisted which is a major benefit for homes, the petroleum based insulation are not fire proof and burn very quickly.

Celery Furniture- Steph

8 10 2008

This is a nursery product line made from bamboo with non-toxic adhesives and 100% recycled formaldehyde-free medium density fiberboard.  The products are not fastened with screws or nails but with a notch and pin locking system. They will also be coming out with a new adult line.

– Steph M.