Green Roofs: The North American Context

In the winter of 2014,  Associate Professor Daniel Roehr conducted a Green Roof Seminar for his landscape architecture and environmental design students at the University of British Columbia. During this seminar, the students were introduced to general concepts and construction methods related to green roofs. The students were also asked to consider the regional implications of green roof design. The set of essays compiled below reflects the student’s attempts to understand the relevance of green roofs to the British Columbian climate and to North American society.

In Coastal Bluffs for Green Roofs, Kara Anderson, Tamara Bonnemaison and Mark Stevenson look to coastal bluffs for inspiration on designing regionally-appropriate green roofs. Lambert Chow’s Thermal Benefits of Green Roofs examines the advantages of green roofs in relation to heat and  building envelope, with particular attention paid to the green roofs at the Vancouver Convention Centre and Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.

Nathan Grimson researches the public perception of green roofs in Taking Green to the Public, while Katie Carroll Smith takes a similar approach in examining the social benefits of green roofs in her piece, Benefits of Viewing Nature in Urban Environments.

Taking a more nuts-and-bolts approach to the subject,  Technical Report: VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor’s Centre and Green Roof by Olivér Lóránt Szeleczky and Shizuka Sasaki provides an overview of the green roof at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Finally, Monica Vogt writes about plant selection for North American green roofs in Green Roofs in North America.

Together, these papers present a broad overview of green roof considerations applicable to North America and are a valuable resource at a time when making our urban landscapes more humane – in every respect – is a critical requirement.

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COASTAL BLUFFS FOR GREEN ROOFS: A Habitat Template Approach
Kara Anderson, Tamara Bonnemaison, and Mark Stevenson

THERMAL BENEFITS OF GREEN ROOFS
Lambert Chow

TAKING GREEN TO THE PUBLIC: A look into perceptions and preference of Green Roofs and LID patches
Nathan Grimson

BENEFITS OF VIEWING NATURE IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS: Green roofs’ ability to heighten concentration, relieve stress, and provide a stronger sense of security
Katie Carroll Smith

TECHNICAL REPORT: VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor’s Centre and Green Roof
Olivér Lóránt Szeleczky and Shizuka Sasaki

GREEN ROOFS IN NORTH AMERICA: Selecting suitable plants for the North American Climate
Monica Vogt

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The reports were edited and compiled by Tamara Bonnemaison, with contributions from: Kara Anderson, Monica Vogt, Katie Carroll-Smith, Lambert Chow, Mark Stevenson, Nathan Grimson, Oliver Szeleczky, and Shizuka Sasaki.

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Tamara Bonnemaison is an ecological designer interested in merging social and natural systems. She is currently a Master’s of Landscape Architecture student at the University of British Columbia, and also studied ecological restoration at the University of Victoria. Some of the most interesting projects she has been involved with include designing and building a cohousing community, restoring grassland ecosystems, and running an organic farm.