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Kimberly Powell

TEDCRED 50+

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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 28 2012: Right now I don't think that the benefits of green roofs outweigh the costs. I think that maybe with time and the right advertising, green roofs will become more desirable and therefore the benefits will, in fact, weigh out the costs.
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      May 31 2012: The right advertisement might be the cities themselves. When you start adding more green and better sustainability to structures and show the people you care about the environment as well as those who live in it...well it will attract more people to live in the city.

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