Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People – Chickens and Urban Agriculture

February 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Are you sick of having to wait a whole year to learn about the latest and greatest greenroof trends?  Well, wait no longer!  We have decided to launch a column dedicated solely to showcasing the most chic, most hip, most creative greenroofs and living walls from around the world.

Twice a month, Linda and I will take turns profiling built projects, noteworthy ideas, competitions, and interesting people in the industry – plus some fun ones thrown in as well.

(Image via: AmuzingPlanet)

As always, no project is too small to catch our eyes or garner attention.  From chicken coops (see below) to football stadiums, we want to highlight it all and bring these projects the attention they deserve.

(Image via: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

We all know by now that living architecture is good for us and the environment.  Our goal for this blog is to raise it up from its status as the cauliflower of the meal and transform it to the foie gras.  We’re calling it: Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People.

And we would love your help.  Do you know of any particularly cool green roof or living walls projects in the news that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are environmentally friendly?  Send them in to us!

INAUGURAL CHIC SUSTAINABILITY WATCH: CHICKENS & URBAN AG

For our inaugural column, I’ve decided to focus on two trends that score high marks on the chic sustainability front – chickens and urban agriculture.  Combine them with a hipper than hip green roof and suddenly you have the object of an eco-warrior’s dreams: a sustainable chicken coop that produces its own fertilizer for crops growing on its roof.

The number of green roof chicken coops that have been constructed is astounding. Do a quick Google image search and you’ll be amazed by how many of our feathered friends live under the naturally climate controlled confines of a green roof. Designs vary from rustic and simple to sleek and modern. Here are some that fall into the latter category.

HEN HEDGE

The winner of a design competition by Sera Architects to build “the perfect chicken coop,” Hen Hedge combines an open rectangular structure with a vegetated roof and living wall.  The result is a stylish hen house that provides shade to its occupants and blends into the surrounding landscape.  The one of a kind coop by Gary Gola + Jeanie Lai was auctioned off at a gala benefitting the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.

(Image via: Landscape and Urbanism)

KIPPEN HOUSE

Love the idea of a contemporary green roof chicken coop, but not quite ready to harness your inner DIY goddess?  Kippen House may be just the coop for you.  The goal of the coop, according to designer Traci Fontyn, is to “look good, be multi-functional and offer the ability to adapt to the small urban lot.”  And the best part of her design is that the green roof holds 10” of growing medium, enough to grow small vegetables and herbs.

(Image via: kippenhouse)

ARCHITECTURE FOR THE MASSES

When architects Mitchell Snyder and Shelley Martin set out to build a coop for their three chickens, they didn’t lower their design standards.  The “residence” is a stunning four foot cube that keeps the ladies warm in the winter and cool in the summer and provides them with enough space for their daily needs.  It also includes a 4-by-15-foot run.  Above it, the green roof is planted with native Oregon sedums.

(Images via: WebEcoist)

GREEN ROOF CHICKEN COOP

“We started out selling our plans to neighbors, they convinced us to start our website…”  So begins the copy at greenroofchickencoop.com, a website that sells two types of chicken coops, a “green roof chicken coop” (4’ wide by 4.5’ deep with 16 sf of growing area) and an “herb garden chicken coop” (3.5’ wide by 8’ long with 28 sf of growing area).  The best part is that aspiring urban chicken farmers can choose how much of the work they want to do themselves; customers can purchase plans, kits, or fully assembled coops.

(Image via: GreenRoofChickenCoop)

WIND-POWERED PREFAB CHICKEN COOP

A competition held by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development called for new and efficient chicken coops.  Winners Peleg/Burshstein Architects and landscape architect Nathan Gulman designed a prefab coop that processes its own waste and is self-powered by renewable energy.  The 200 foot long coop is outfitted with wind turbines, solar panels, and a green roof/living wall.  Water tanks, silos, egg storage, and a waste-treatment system are stored within the coop’s interior.

(Image via: Inhabitat)

So, have these five green roofed chicken coops inspired you to go out and design one of your own?  Remember, everyone deserves the opportunity to surround themselves with chic sustainability, including your chickens!!

Until next time,

Haven
designeditor@greenroofs.com

Greenroofs.com Announces the 2009 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design!

June 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

2009 marks the third year of our “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design” – download the Press Release here.  Compiled by our Design Editor, Haven Kiers, and I, we presented the Top 10 List on Friday, June 5, 2009 at the 7th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards and Trade Show in Atlanta, GA.

Our time slot was changed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities from 9:30 am to 8:00 am, so if you went by an older Agenda, you missed us!

In 2007, we explored “chic sustainability” and looked at examples of trailblazing and trendsetting greenroof design.  Last year, we turned to greenroof industry professionals for inspiration and guidance and asked them to share their top 10 trends of 2008 with us.  Together we chose “The Influence of LEED on Design Professionals = Pushing the Green Envelope,” “Sky High Cool Green Schools,” and “Eco-Communities & Eco-Cities” for the top three spots.

This year, the projects we have chosen all share a similar concept – the desire to improve their surrounding environment.  The focus of the Top 10 Trends of 2009 is on greenroof design as a means to combat problems in our world of the built environment versus nature, and restore sustainability to the eco-system.

Sandton City Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

I feel the common element running through all the categories this year is the increasing shift in viewing the building not as a single physical element to be manipulated, but holistically – integrating the site, building envelope, and roof with cultural awareness – creating vegetated surfaces in 3-D and truly linking nature to human design.

Without further ado, the

2009 HOT TRENDS in GREENROOF DESIGN:
Top 10 List

10) Client Specific ‘Boutique’ Greenroofs

9)   Design Competitions: Promoting Future Inspiration

8)   Earth-Sheltering for Sustainable Site Design

7)   Master Plans – Greenroofs in Every Corner

6)   Sustainable Stimulus: Green Buildings Creating Green Collar Jobs

5)   LID Strategies: Celebrating Water with Greenroofs, Rain Gardens, Stormwater Catchment & Beyond

4)   Championing the Green Machine: Policy Driven Ecological Development

3)   Healthy, Efficient & Affordable Green Housing

2)   Sky-High Green Living on the Rise: Condos, Townhomes and Lofts
 
1)   “Towers of Power” – Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth and Sky

The Lilypad, a floating ecopolis with greenroofs and greenwalls for future climate change refugees

As usual, we included built projects, those on the boards, and several which are stunningly conceptual, like “The Lilypad” by Vincent Callebaut, above and below, designed to make us really push our notion of the possibilities of function and design, and to reprioritize and rethink our global view of our diminishing natural resources.  Actually, The Lilypad is a “Tower of Power” – Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth, Sky, and Water!

The Lilypad by Vincent Callebaut. A completely self-sufficient floating city, each is designed to hold around 50,000 people

Missed our presentation?  No problem - click on the 2009 PowerPoint here:

Click here to view the Top 10 PowerPoint for 2009

You can also view the 2008 and 2007 PowerPoint presentations of the Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design, and the papers, too.  We’ll be posting the 2009 paper – with hyperlinks to each project in The Greenroof Projects Database - by the end of the month.

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V.