Google is breaking ground on a new centralized campus complex in London England. One of many unique design features is the extensive rooftop garden, an example of Green Roofing.
The building has been called a “landscaper” since it is as long as a skyscraper is tall. Servicing 4000 employees the main building is only 11 storeys high. Naturally the interior will contain all sorts of amenities and features, but the roof top garden is spectacular.
The garden will be 300 m long. The area will stretch out over multiple storeys. The total expanse will be divided into 3 zones. These are the plateau, the gardens and the fields, or pause area, which will be planted with berries and sage. A roof top café will be included and a 200 m trail for runners. This rooftop garden is an integral part of the “Wellness Centre” integrated into the new Google headquarters.
Green roofing has several names including living roof, vegetated roof and eco-roof. These living roofs are a part of the green building movement and minimal impact development practices.
Renoteck has experience installing rooftop gardens in Alberta. Simply put, the plants and growing medium are situated on top of a waterproof membrane. This barrier protects the building from water penetration, condensation and plant roots.
How a Green Roof Works
The plants and soil capture and filter rainwater. This rainwater then returns to the atmosphere through the process of evaporation and various plant processes.
Suitable plants for this application will have the following characteristics
- Drought tolerant once established
- Self sustaining-no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides
- Tolerant of heat, cold and high winds
- Very low maintenance
- Self seeding or perennial
The beauty of green roofs is the lengthy list of benefits
- They reduce the volume of storm water runoff
- Filters the rain water before it reaches the storm sewer
- Reduces nearby air temperatures
- Increases ambient humidity levels
- Improves air quality by filtering dust and air borne toxins
- Increases the heating efficiency in the winter and cooling efficiency in the summer
- Increases the lifespan of roofing membranes by providing protection from ultraviolet and thermal degradation
- Increases functional green space
- Increases aesthetic appeal
- Absorbs outdoor noise pollution
- Increase the value of the property
Any residential or commercial flat roof can be a potential green roof in Alberta. If a new build or a roof replacement is being considered it the perfect time to incorporate a living roof.