It’s finally happening. Those of us who grew up reading science fiction, filled with flying cars and instant fabrication of foodstuffs, became disappointed to not see a lot of those ideas come to pass. Mostly we just got the dystopian government. But once in awhile, a change does give us a glimmer of hope that maybe Larry Niven or Isaac Asimov got one right after all.
Green Roofs are giving us something to do with the tops of our buildings besides cover them in tar and vents. After a few generations of the idea have come and gone, architects are now setting out to design more contoured buildings. These blend into the landscape, with a sloped roof that becomes a continuation of the park-like space around it. And we can only think of Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit-home…
As a bonus, the cityscape that results from this look is beautiful. Rolling hills and natural land formations blend in with the buildings, producing a spacious, airy design that suggests an advanced society. Time may well prove that the elimination of the blank wall and sharp corner of traditional buildings cuts down on graffiti and vandalism, too.
The environmental advantage of green roofing is that they lower urban temperatures and cut down the heat island effect. Most people don’t take into consideration the fact that urban development actually changes the local weather; rainstorms happen more often downwind of cities, for instance. While it isn’t a significant contributor to global warming, urban heat island areas do tend to be less pleasant places to be.
Meanwhile the building itself benefits including absorbing rainwater and providing insulation. Not to mention how much better it is to look out the window in a green roof environment and see something besides a jungle of steel, concrete, and tar.