Green Roofs and Vegetation Covered Buildings

There has been a lot of talk about Green Roofs, where the tops of buildings are converted into gardens and mini-parks. The idea makes sense because it slows down all the roof tops in creating Urban Heat. Urban heat is known to increase city temperatures more than 10 degrees at times than the nearby rural areas where there are fewer roads, buildings, parking lots and highways.

One brilliant young man in California, Colin Manasse wants to take this a step further and has written a paper called: “The Urban Ecology: The Tri-dimensional Approach” and it is an excellent piece. The Online Think Tank was thoroughly impressed and believes that such approaches to problem solving with Urban Heat are the answer to much of the problems with the ambient temperature increases. In the paper Colin Manasse states that in the future:

The population of slum dwellers is expected to rise from 1 to 3 billion by 2050 (UN-HABITAT 2005), and is therefore a pressing concern when considering the urban environment.

Indeed and it could even be higher than that actually and the ramifications are almost too serious to contemplate. All those people living in Urban Slums and the increased heat exacerbate the problems of climate change and Urban Heat is definitely man made.

The Urban Slums of the World are a humanitarian disaster to put it mildly, completely unacceptable conditions for the human species to live. Between India, Africa, Asia and South America, the problem has grown to epic proportions. Solutions like the one Colin Manasse has suggested in his paper show promise, as viable programs for a greener tomorrow.

The combination of “Green Roofs” and concrete and asphalt coatings to prevent the Urban Heat should be considered together, as Urban Heat is causing wicked weather and mini-super storms that destroy rural crops and food supply. The concept of vines growing on the sides of buildings allow an additional layer of comfort and noise pollution mitigations suggests Mr. Manasse.

Perhaps in the future using collected carbon from Power Plants to make carbon nano-tubes to make very strong lightweight rooftops will in fact have the ability to support the extra load of the green roofs and prevent leakage from trapped water? Still Colon Manasse takes it all a step further as he stated;

This might help to reduce … and … help to ease the transition from rural to urban life on a psychological level.

The Online Think Tank agrees and I believe his statements might actually be more than we might ever imagine; happier people get sick less too, on top of the reduction in vibrational sound energy and pollution. It seems his multifaceted approach solves many of the issues of potential unintended consequences that we see. The paper even eludes to economics and job creation from, vine trimmers, gardeners and specialty eco-system workers for the inner city.

Any organic waste could be made into rich mulch for future green roof tops using Earth Worms as he points out. Perhaps the rest can be used to make energy from Bio-mass of course. The only question we had about the paper was that if you cover all the roofs with vegetation, what about solar roof tops? Mr. Manasse stated that these programs could be implemented quickly by way of tax incentives for green roofs. Would Solar compete or would building owners choose either Solar tax incentives or green roof top tax incentives?

The Online Think Tank sees opportunity for both and stated; “Excellent Thinking Colin Manasse, we are sure there is room for both. No roof top should go untouched, why waste space?” Check out his paper online: http://www.greenroofs.com/student_guest.htm


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