Building and Renovating with "Being Green" in Mind:
Living Rooftops - An Environmental Alternative for "Green" Building
Credit: MS Office Clip Art: clouds + sun + green conservation
New Green Roof Bylaw Passed By Council
On May 26, 2009 Toronto became the first City in North America to adopt a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development.
The bylaw will apply to all new building permit applications made after January 31, 2010 (residential, commercial and institutional) and January 31, 2011 for all new industrial development.
Credit: City of Toronto: Green Roofs
Part 3: Living Rooftops - An Environmental Alternative for "Green" Building
Green rooftops, also referred to as eco-roofs or living roofs have been popular in Europe for a while now, and in our global quest for building "green" the idea of a green rooftop seems to be catching on here in Toronto and other parts of Canada.
Aside from esthetics, there are many practical benefits of a green rooftop. Green rooftops are a source of economical insulation (cooling in the summer – the grass prevents the sun from heating the rooftop therefore keeping it cool in the summertime) and warming in the wintertime (as heat is prevented from escaping through the roof because of the layer of grass) which makes this an ideal way to keep energy costs down. Another redeeming quality is that because green roofs absorb a significant amount of noise (nature’s insulation) the resulting effect is a reduction of noise pollution both inside the home and out.
Green rooftops are also very ecologically friendly as they provide vegetation for a variety of beneficial insects and a resting ground for butterflies, migratory birds and other wildlife facing a shortage of natural habitat. In addition green rooftops retain a considerable amount of rainfall necessary to their survival therefore providing major relief on overburdened sewer systems. Recycling at its best!
A green rooftop normally consists of several layers that would include a waterproofing casing, insulation, a protective layer, a drainage layer, a filter mat, a soil layer, and the vegetation. The vegetation can range from grass to shrubs or even trees, depending on the weather conditions and the load-bearing capacity of the roof. If you are exploring the idea of a green rooftop, low cost, low maintenance and low weight are the key elements to look for.
In today’s pursuit for eco-friendly or "green" building and energy conservation, green rooftops are just one more alternative that seems to be catching on slowly but surely.
For more information on eco-roofs as well as eco-roof incentive programs, please go to http://www.toronto.ca/livegreen. This website promotes environmentally-friendly issues and energy conservation so you will find many other tips to help you on your way to "green" living!
Alternatively, give us a call at 416-402-2679 if you are in the Toronto or GTA area and are interested in building a green roof.
Lonya is the staff writer for Wo-Built Inc.
40 Years Designing & Installing Beautiful Green Roofs
toronto.ca: Green Roof Bylaw
"Toronto is the first City in North America to have a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development. It was adopted by Toronto City Council in May 2009, under the authority of Section 108 of the City of Toronto Act.
The Bylaw applies to new building permit applications for residential, commercial and institutional development made after January 31, 2010 and will apply to new industrial development as of April 30, 2012."
Going Green in the City: Building and Renovating with "Being Green" in Mind:
Part 1 - Eco-Friendly Home Improvements
Part 2 - Going Green Is Becoming Mainstream
Part 3 - Living Rooftops - An Environmental Alternative for "Green" Building
Home Renovation Tip: Donate Reusable Items to Non-For-Profit Organizations
Wo-Built: Helping to Green our Province
Interesting Reading: Government Help for Going Green in Homes
Wo-Built: Help for Going Green at Work
toronto.ca: City of Toronto: Green Roofs
snapbloorwest: Going Green in Your Own Backyard
nrc-cnrc.gc.ca: NRC Institute for Research in Construction
lid-stormwater.net: Low Impact Development (LID) Urban Design Tools Website