addition to minimizing energy and materials use, reducing pollution and
reserving habitat, ecological design is all about fostering community, health
and beauty (Van der Ryn and Cowan, 1996). Architects, city planners, engineers and
landscape architects, among others, have the opportunity to amend our built
spaces to include living, moving matter.
We can create aesthetically pleasing and vigorous, sustainable native
and/or naturalized plant communities with the addition of greenroofs.
visual appeal of greenroofs offers endless design possibilities, and is only
limited by its function and the slope of the roof. Naturalistic landscapes of meadows planted with wildflower drifts or wildly
geometric plans are examples.
vegetated roofs create exciting, unexpected visual effects, and the forgotten
potential of flat roofs can be explored through a myriad of design
schemes can be designed in accordance with viewing perspectives.
Greater massing of plants can create a more dramatic effect, and detail
plantings are possible for the interactive amenities provided by intensive greenroofs. These can
offer gathering spots and sitting areas and often have fountains, bridges, and
ponds. These are the gardens of
integration into natural surroundings is desired, greenroofs blend in
effortlessly with the environment. In
suburban areas or the open countryside it may be desirable to build
unobtrusively, and a greenroof would provide an organic solution.
Overhead views could actually be camouflaged if the design mimicked its
surroundings. Architectural styles
can be complemented or contrasted by the use of greenroofs, in either case
providing a unique effect.
Commercial and industrial roofs no longer
need to be eyesores of endless concrete, asphalt or gravel. They
certainly are unattractive, to say the least, and aesthetics are rarely
considered in their design. Extensive greenroofs could alleviate the
harsh, stark and downright ugly views.
can make choices about the surroundings in which we live and work.
Prosperity and beauty need not exclude one another. H.R.H. The
Prince of Wales (London Ecology Unit, 1993)
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