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NRDC Report Shows Green Saves Over Time

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Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
1/3/2014 12:42:47 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: green roof v other
Hi CitySolver: Sure, that makes a lot of sense to me. This isn't "one size fits all" stuff. It actually surprises me that Chicago often stands out as the example when green rooftops are being referenced, as it gets pretty cold there. But depending on what you plant and where, you could make a green rooftop work in less friendly climates. Regardless, though, you're right to say that developers need to assess the environments they're in before choosing the right energy efficient solution.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
1/3/2014 9:51:19 AM
User Rank Blogger
green roof v other
Well I think Nicole that as you say in some climates buildings like skyscrapers could gain a lot of green energy from solar roof installations and invest in green infrastructure at street level. For instance on skyscrapers it is all well and good to have a green roof, but if this is at high level in high winds who is going to use it? Surely it would be better to use that roof for green energy or for a wind power based natural cooling system using roof fans. I love green rooves but I dont think they are the only green option when it comes to getting the most 'green' points out of a building.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
1/2/2014 10:31:13 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: cost benefit reliability
Thanks for your perspective here, CitySolver. Regarding #3 on your list, I'm curious to know what sorts of buildings do you feel do not need green rooftops? Is this more about the location/climate that the building is in, or the type of building?

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/30/2013 7:05:45 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: cost benefit reliability
Requiring individual homes to install `Cool Roofs` is interesting. In aggregate it will probably save a lot of energy.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
12/28/2013 12:03:21 PM
User Rank Blogger
cost benefit reliability
I agree. Alot of companies cannot think in terms of ten years into the future, nevermind 40 years. The average life span of many urban buildings is not much over 40 years anyway despite our efforts to green them. I am PRO green rooves, however with some important caveats-

1- The green roof system should be light and easily removed for access to roof structure which will need to be looked at over a 40 year period. (ie no building is perfect, things will need attention regardless of a green covering or not)

2- The cost of them has to be offset as quickly as possible, this is where governemtn needs to step in and give tax breaks for green infrastructure that are easy to apply for and quick to come to fruition

3- Not every building needs a green roof. Some are better to invest in other measures such as heat recovery or solar roofes.

As I say I am pro green infrastructure completely, but it has to be marketted effectively and the payback has to be reduced a fair bit for businesses that are not made of millions of dollars and can afford to do it just for the PR.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
12/28/2013 12:01:27 PM
User Rank Blogger
cost benefit reliability
I agree. Alot of companies cannot think in terms of ten years into the future, nevermind 40 years. The average life span of many urban buildings is not much over 40 years anyway despite our efforts to green them. I am PRO green rooves, however with some important caveats-

1- The green roof system should be light and easily removed for access to roof structure which will need to be looked at over a 40 year period. (ie no building is perfect, things will need attention regardless of a green covering or not)

2- The cost of them has to be offset as quickly as possible, this is where governemtn needs to step in and give tax breaks for green infrastructure that are easy to apply for and quick to come to fruition

3- Not every building needs a green roof. Some are better to invest in other measures such as heat recovery or solar roofes.

As I say I am pro green infrastructure completely, but it has to be marketted effectively and the payback has to be reduced a fair bit for businesses that are not made of millions of dollars and can afford to do it just for the PR.

stotheco
stotheco  
12/27/2013 1:11:03 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: A step in the right direction
At the end of the day, it's still about the cost. Some bigger firms might make the leap because it helps them give off a green images. But there are many who will consider the economics of it all more, and beg off because it doesn't provide that much good in terms of numbers in the long run.

stotheco
stotheco  
12/27/2013 1:10:13 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Finally, putting money where the mouth is!
Good point, Mary. I never thought of it from that perspective, but you're right. Sometimes companies need or require more than these "soft dollar" returns before choosing to invest in something.

stotheco
stotheco  
12/27/2013 1:09:32 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Finally, putting money where the mouth is!
You have a point, Flanagan. I think in order for some to take action and really go for it, well, the trade-off has to be really huge to lure them in and make them really push to make it happen.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/26/2013 1:56:07 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: A step in the right direction
Susan, thanks for a spot on comment. You highlight two big and important challenges. I fear that the price of green materials will need to come down a bit more before more developers will commit; and further, there has to be a way to anticipate or control energy use once the building is occupied in order to not end up being just as wasteful as any other building.

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