On Monday May 26th the City began a construction project that will replace the roofs on the 4th and 5th floors of the east side of the municipal building. This is interesting because it will serve as a living laboratory to study the viability of green roofs in the Calgary environment. These roofs are at the end of their life cycle and are scheduled for replacement. The 5th floor roof will be the location of the green roof, and the 4th floor roof will get a conventional roof replacement and will serve as the control or reference roof to compare with the green roof. Literally, a science experiment occurring on the roofs of City Hall.
What is a green roof and why build one?
A green roof is a building roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over the waterproof membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier as well as drainage and irrigation systems.
There is little home grown research on green roofs in Calgary, so The City is taking a leadership role to see whether green roofs make sense in Calgary from economic, social and environmental perspectives - The City’s Triple Bottom Line principles for making decisions about things like growth and sustainability.
This will provide The City as well as planners, developers and builders with solid data on the pros and cons of using green roofs.
What are the benefits?
A green roof typically:
- Absorbs rainwater and slows runoff
- Provides excellent insulation value
- Creates additional habitat for birds, butterflies and insects
- Helps lower urban air temperature by mitigating heat loss from roofs
- Improves the look of roofs and adds natural beauty to the urban environment
- Creates useable and enjoyable spaces for building users
This three-year project is another demonstration of the City’s commitment to sustainability and protection of the environment.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.