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Kimberly Powell

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If green roofs were mandatory in cities would there be less development and building?

William McDonough knows the benefits that come from designing and implementing green roofs. McDonough has helped design living roofs for big companies such as Nike and Ford Motors. But many companies and homeowners overlook the benefits of green roofs. One benefit of green roofs is that they keep the internal temperature of a building steady throughout the year. The National Research Council of Canada found that having a green roof reduced the daily energy demand for air conditioning in the summer by 75%. Toronto is the first North American city to pass a law mandating green rooftops for all new residential, commercial and industrial developments. Any new construction with floor space of more than 2,000 square meters must devote between 20 and 60 percent of its roof to vegetation. But with green roofs comes an unwanted financial upfront cost. Will developers decide that the benefits outweigh the costs for installing green roofs?

If green roofs were mandatory in cities would there be less development and building?

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    May 22 2012: I personally think that green roofs are a fantastic idea. I would however have questions about the durability and lasting power of these roofs. Also, how might this roof design system limit architecture in terms of what shapes we can create with buildings? Overall it's a wonderful solution to a long time issue of combing an environmentally conscious design and one that effectively protects us from the elements. As far as making it a mandatory part of building design, I think it would be most effective to implement something like this in large metropolitan regions such as los angeles and new york where air pollution is high and extreme heat pockets in summer can kill residents. Not to mention they are just so visually appealing.
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      May 28 2012: I would agree with you that green roofs could be especially helpful in large cities where pollution levels are high. And as to the durability, green roofs can actually drastically increase the life of roofs. As long as the original roof is properly sealed and waterproofed there are no detriments to roof life span. The organic materials used in living roofs protect buildings from storms, UV radiation, and many other factors that usually age roofs.

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