Green Roofs and Climate Changeadmin
Hello 2018! (Another never-too-late-year to start those green resolutions)
The last few months of very strange weather saw perfect respite for our green roofs. On a side note I believe, both you and I felt the cold to be a nice getaway from home in home.
Clearly, global warming is taking its toll on us. Polar bears are starving and losing their homes.
There is an urgent need for greening back what we have taken from nature. At GWS Living Art, our green mat that was awarded and recognized last year is a step to greening buildings and homes.
The GWS Gaia mat system works on retrofit or new building and can withstand up to typhoon level 1 of wind (We might need to tweak that higher in future even in Singapore). As its name implies, just simply roll the pre-grown mat out over your roof and create your own green lawn. These plants are living, breathing and natural plants. They will die and they will grow back and this is part of ecology.
So how do they help in climate change?
Researchers at the Higher Technical School of Agricultural Engineering of University of Seville has published that ‘to mitigate the effects of climate change, we can consider 2 options – attack it at its origin by eliminating or reducing human factors or developing strategies that allow for its effects to be reduced eg. Green areas in cities’.
These green carpets would provide insulation, which translates to energy savings and improvements in environment quality including reducing pollution, regulating temperatures and prevent flooding. These improves the lifespan of roofs and prevent erosion from rain or UV.
We can take the lead from Germany – the leader of the green roof industry. In Stuttgart over 25% of roofs are green and it is possible here in Asia. As a Michigan State university professor pointed out, it brings in biodiversity and adds an aesthetic appeal, ‘how do you put a dollar value on that?’
In the long run, research has shown that green roofs is cheaper when you consider the benefits energy-wise.
Drawing it back home, we have recently installed for NParks a green roof on a bus stop. Our GWS green roof soil-less system is light, easy to maintain and allows for safe installation on even non-concrete material. We are certainly looking forward to greening up the rest of Singapore in the near future.