Author Topic: Green roofs and facades  (Read 15487 times)

Andy Simmonds

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Green roofs and facades
« on: November 16, 2004, 10:33:28 AM »
eric
hi and well done for getting things rolling. at some point soon i will get out my books and have a look! I feel that integrated food production and the use of green facades to increase habitat and health is something i want much more info about, urban greening. the use of landscaped (for habitat) green roofs is an area that has had some worl recently www.livingroofs.org etc but facades seem a lovely use of building area to replace trashed green space!

any thoughts?
andy

Eric Parks

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Green roofs and facades
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2004, 11:36:58 PM »
Hi Andy -

I'll try this again as I had a nice fulsome reply typed out and was disconnected and unable to post it!

I was just going to remind you about the John & Nancy Todd book 'From Eco Cities to Living Machines' which had a handful of ideas of how to integrate more food producing areas into urban sites.

You might also do a google search for 'permaculture and high rise apartments'.  I remember seeing a video of Bill Mollison explaining how tenants in tower blocks could transform their balconies into very productive spaces. 

I'm also curious to know if there's anything in Cuba on the subject.  Due to US imbargos etc. they've gone completely organic and I imagine there might be some low-tech high-rise or informal green facade stuff going on there. 

Let me know what you come across...

Eric

Eric Parks

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2004, 09:59:33 PM »
Hi Andy  - I have managed to find a couple of new books on the subject of green roofs / facades / urban agriculture that might interest you. 

I've requested a review copy of the first one titled "Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls" by Nigel Dunnett and Noël Kingsbury. 

ISBN: 0-88192-640-X
Price: US$34.95, £25.00 
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256 pp.
Dimensions: 7.63 x 9.25 in (235 x 195 cm)
Illustrations: 130 color photos, 7 line drawings
Copyright: ©2004 Timber Press 
Publication Date: May 15, 2004

The second book is due to be published in a couple of weeks, a potential stocking stuffer:

"Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes
Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities "
Andre Viljoen
Price: £29.99
ISBN: 0-7506-5543-7
Published: 20/12/2004


I'll add them both to the books section of the website and let me know if you're interested in reviewing either for this forum (and ultimately the website books section).

Eric

Andy Simmonds

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2005, 09:25:33 PM »
eric
ive only just looked again at this section! yes i would like to review them - is it far too late to do so?

Eric Parks

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2005, 11:10:27 PM »
Andy - It's not too late but the main hitch is I've not heard a dickie bird from either of the publishers and not had much success at getting a response.  I'll contact them again and let you know how things progress.

Eric

Andy Simmonds

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2005, 11:38:29 PM »
Eric,
I came across an interesting article at

http://francais.rooftopgardens.ca/?q=node/140&PHPSESSID=cfacab55792362189ba899855ded59f0

- Canadian: the vision of a productive and greened over urban environment is quite a widespread one.. and I suspect the climate change implications of food production will force a change to us all incorporating growing space and systems in our homes, workplaces and local communities - at some stage - and even if we give up on climate change mitigation and concentrate on adaptation, it still seems that ew should be designing buildings and open urban spaces to be suitable for this purpose!! Perhaps the building regulations should allow space heating in conservatories if you are growing your own bananas, and can prove it..add banana inspection to the building control officers' workload, they'd like that.


FYI
From the Canadian Medical Association Journal Oct 15, 2002; 167(8) pg 895: "According to a recent study, growing just 10% more produce in a regional system would result in an annual savings of 1.2 million to 1.4 million L of fuel and an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 3 million to 3.5 million kg." Citing "Food, fuel and freeways," a report produced in 2001 out of the Leopold Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University. The report is available at: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/staff/ppp/food_mil.pdf

Will come back to this when time allows!

Any luck with those publishers?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2005, 12:08:10 AM by Andy Simmonds »

David OLIVIER

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2005, 03:18:41 PM »
Surprisingly I read that some varieties of banana (from east Asia) will soon be virtually hardy outside in sheltered gardens in southern England and Wales so there may be no need to waste greenhouse space on them - unless you insist on having them in winter as well as other seasons.

AFAIK English horticulturists have been using green facades for centuries - growing plants, especially fruit trees, on walls. Old gardening books are chock-full of instructions of what to grow where - west, north, east & south. This knowledge hasn't been lost yet as the UK has so many gardeners.

Energy for food production is a big issue as an American family of 4 is estimated to use 34,000 kWh/year of primary energy to produce and transport their food - getting on for 10 percent of their total energy consumption. OTOH it may be quicker to reduce food energy than to get people to design and construct buildings to use far less energy.

There are some counterintuitive results with food (as with energy); e.g. it takes less energy to ship bananas or tomatoes from say the Canary Islands or Egypt than it does to heat a greenhouse in the UK or the Netherlands to grow the crops locally. Local production of such crops can be a bad idea unless the glasshouse is heated by renewable energy - which of course few are since hardly anyone in UK knows about the successful work overseas (in Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, etc) to design 100% solar greenhouses.

David.

Andy Simmonds

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2005, 11:10:30 PM »
David,
A bit of a long reply here! I am trying to see where, for the building professions, the issues of food production fit in.

Iin your opinion (and anyone elses!), is an increase in appropriate localised food production an issue for those involved in the built environment professions, given that currently in practise most probably consider energy or materials issues their remit.

Do you think planning policy should be encouraging growing space, whether gardens sized, positioned and designed for food production, or roof gardens for same, or 100% solar greenhouses? Is this an issue important or even appropriate  for green designers, working on small or large scale developments to add to their list of design 'drivers'?

I currently consider the prioirities in building design to be as below (this list is what I suppose I work to in the  context of climate change, rather than my emotional prioirity list, which is biodiversity - buildings enhancing rather than degrading natural world etc!) :

1 energy conservation inc application of passive solar and good daylighting principles:
2 energy efficient appliances and other electrical equipment - we can but advise clients
3 materials issues
4 water and waste issues
5 biodiversity issues including food production - should this be no. 5 or even on the list at all?

David OLIVIER

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2005, 10:41:35 AM »
It's a huge topic! Today I don't think a large proportion of owners or tenants want to grow their own food but climate change, etc may call for different policies.

If energy use by the UK food supply system even distantly approaches the US level (8,500 kWh/yr.cap) it could easily equal the UK construction industry's energy use for materials production, transport and construction (i.e, "embodied energy"). In that sense eco-designers should be aware of it and some clients may want to make it a feaure of eco-buildings. There must also be scope for using edible plants in "public landscapes". I once read of a development in Calfornia where the city council landscaped some streets with almond trees and made a regular profit.

I suspect it will only become an big issue again when we start having drastic oil shortages on a par with 1973. But as I said before some may still prefer to pay others to grow their food. Past precedents will have to be resuscitated as fossil fuels run down.

Liz Reason

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2005, 08:50:19 PM »
Food, buildings, transport... So may things for people to think about. 
I find it easier to think of the common denominator - energy and
emissions.  If everything were labelled with the energy it has
consumed, keep energy used low would be the single objective.  But
'food' - eat less, or buy local.  But there are lots of things we buy
that are not locally produced - but they still have  a lesser or
greater associated energy contribution.

Am I alone in thinking that we should only ask people to think about
one thing?

Liz Reason

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Re: Green roofs and facades
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2005, 04:40:40 PM »
I would love to see new housing estates that incorporated communal growing areas, like allotments but shared by the homeowners of a particular close, apartment block or whatever. The communal ownership might help with the issue of theft and vandalism that affects traditional allotments and perhaps an estate wide GYO guru could be on hand to help people with their queries and monitor activity.

I think the fact that allotments are dislocated from their guardians and are usually hidden away somewhere is potentially discouraging to new growers.

I know some allotments are way oversubscribed but I drive by loads in east London/Essex that are virtually derelict. A huge shame in my opinion.

 

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