Green roofs : understanding their benefits for Australia

Loh, Susan (2009) Green roofs : understanding their benefits for Australia. Environment Design Guide, TEC27(1), pp. 1-13.

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Summary of Actions Towards Sustainable Outcomes Environmental Issues / Principal Impacts The increased growth of cities is intensifying its impact on people and the environment through: • increased use of energy for the heating and cooling of more buildings, leading to urban heat islands and more greenhouse gas emissions • increased amount of hard surfaces contributing to higher temperatures in cities and more stormwater runoff • degraded air quality and noise impact • reduced urban biodiversity • compromised health and general well-being of people Basic Strategies In many design situations boundaries and constraints limit the application of cutting EDGe actions. In these circumstances designers should at least consider the following: • Consider green roofs early in the design process in consultation with all stakeholders to enable maximised integration with building systems and to mitigate building cost (avoid constructing as a retrofit). • Design of the green roof as part of a building’s structural, mechanical and hydraulic systems could lead to structural efficiency, the ability to optimise cooling benefits and better integrated water recycling systems. • Inform the selection of the type of green roof by considering its function, for example designing for social activity, required maintenance/access regime, recycling of water or habitat regeneration or a combination of uses. • Evaluate existing surroundings to determine possible links to the natural environment and choice of vegetation for the green roof with availability of local plant supply and expertise. Cutting EDGe Strategies • Create green roofs to contribute positively to the environment through reduced urban heat island effect and building temperatures, to improved stormwater quality, increased natural habitats, provision of social spaces and opportunity for increased local food supply. • Maximise solar panel efficiency by incorporating with design of green roof. • Integrate multiple functions for a single green roof such as grey water recycling, food production, more bio-diverse plantings, air quality improvement and provision of delightful spaces for social interaction. Synergies & references • BEDP Environment Design Guide DES 53: Roof and Facade Gardens GEN 4: Positive Development – designing for Net Positive Impacts TEC 26: Living Walls - a way to green the built environment • Green Roofs Australia: • International Green Roof Association: • Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (USA): • Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (Singapore):

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ID Code: 38714
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: green roof, sustainability, climate change
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2010 02:47
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2012 07:00

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