Green Roofs

Green Roofs

Implementing green roofs into architecture is rapidly becoming a design principle for buildings at every scale. There are many benefits to a green roof including a decrease in heating and cooling costs, which in turn mitigates the urban heat island effect. Other benefits include a natural filter for rain water, an increase in the life span of the roof, a natural habitat for animals and plants and a reduction in dust and smog levels. In this post are four highlighted projects where a green roof is emphasized to produce successful sustainable architectural works.

California Academy of Sciences

Sustainability was a key aspect of the design by Renzo Piano, as this project is one of the ten pilot “green building” projects of the San Francisco Department of Environment, aiming to get platinum LEED certification. As the 2.5 acre green roof takes shape, the undulating roofline will draw cool air into the open piazza at the center of the building, naturally ventilating the surrounding exhibit spaces. Skylights in the roof will automatically open and close to vent hot air out through the tops of the domes. The roof acts as a new link in an ecological corridor for wildlife (more info).

© Tim Griffith

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Nanyang School of Art

Formed by two sloping, tapering arcs that interlock with a third, smaller arc, the School of Art, Design, and Media is an elegant five-story, 215,000-square-foot structure housing more than two dozen studios and laboratories, two galleries, and as many lecture halls, alongside classrooms, a soundstage, a 450-seat auditorium, and motley other spaces spanning a library to prototyping rooms. Accessible by stairs along the edges, the curving, green roofs prevent a loss of open space, while offering a sculptural solution for CPG’s design goals. For example, the dense voysia matrella grass turf adds to the building’s eco credentials by helping to absorb Singapore’s intense sun. Meanwhile, this effect enhances the outdoor gathering space at a university that has made a mission of promoting creativity—a mandate it wanted to express architecturally through spaces fostering interaction.

Villa Bio

Designed by Enric Ruiz-Geli, the Villa Bio in Llers, Spain reflects the nature of the local landscape much more intimately than its neighbors. That nature does not end at the corner of its plot, but continues on to the home’s hydroponic garden that snakes along its green roof. They conceived this platform as a landscape of linear events. The landscape folds itself within the site and forms a growing spiral (more info).

© Lluís Ros / Optical Adiction

Marcel Sembat High School

archi5 with B. Huidobro opted for a simple and easily understandable project and decided to include workshops at the park with smooth lines which are connected to the park floor with their declivity. The building starts at the boundary of the park and fits naturally in the site by the wavy design of its vegetated roof. The main ideas of the proposal are; to find a unity and identity of the school in the whole site, to integrate and connect the high school and the park with the particular shape of the “blades”. We also wanted to create a public space around the crossing street by making a great plaza in front of the new workshops building (more info).

© Thomas Jorion

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Green Roofs" 23 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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