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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 think this is a very noble idea and one that will gain momentum over time to help our society live both more within its means and also foster a greater connection with the environment around us. These roofs aid in cooling building, but can also aid in small scale food production as has been seen throughout many cities across the globe that have rooftop gardens. They also can serve as a place for people to relax and meditate, perhaps on a lunch break which can foster a more productive day and a happier workforce.
    Since I'm not an architect I can't give a completely knowledgeable answer but I believe that, with proper government support, these regulations will do little or no harm to the ability to build in a more sustainable manner. In some ways, this may revitalize these urban areas that have fallen into a state of decay and help aid in cooling our cities, making these building more cost effective in the long run and also providing a cleaner aesthetic feel to the city. Obviously this applies only to certain locations as this would probably be ineffective in say an area that has insufficient water to keep the plants moist or a location that freezes, but it is a positive start in the right direction. I think this is the future of architecture and we will only see more and more buildings designed in this manner.
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      May 22 2012: I didn't even think of the green space on the roofs being able to produce food during the proper seasons. Do you feel that if the roofs had to produce food that it would impact if the building grows and by grow i mean possibly start at a new location (add more buildings to the company)?

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