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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogThe type of roof you choose plays a major role in the amount of energy your company uses for heating and cooling. Given that climate control is responsible for the lion’s share of your energy usage, it makes sense to take steps to lower those expenses as much as possible. Today’s business owners are looking to green roofing solutions to lower their costs and to conserve natural resources for future generations. Cool Roof Roofing materials that absorb heat create several problems. Overheated attics that result from these types of materials shorten the lifespan of the roof and radiate heat into the building, stressing the HVAC system, driving up energy usage and shortening the serviceable life of the HVAC unit. Modern roofing materials are engineered to reflect the sun’s energy and to quickly re-emit absorbed heat. Thanks to modern materials engineering, cool roofs can be covered in asphalt, metal or tile, and they can come in a wide array of colors. Cool roofs are instrumental in lowering energy bills and increasing the overall energy efficiency of the buildings they cover. Long Life Roof Traditional asphalt roofs are designed to last an average of 20 years, but a long life roof can last 50 years or more. These roofing systems are green in the sense that they divert waste from the landfill because a traditional roof will have to be replaced an average of three times for every long life roof installation. These long-lived roofs are typically metal or slate, but modern engineering and innovation have created 50-year roofs from rubber, recycled tires, and even asphalt. What makes these shingles last so long is their ability to reflect the sun’s energy which also makes them energy efficient. Living Roof Covered in vegetation, some roofs are literally green. This type of roof goes by many names: vegetative roof, green roof, and living roof. A living roof can be flat or pitched. It can be covered in grass or artfully landscaped. The popularity of green roofing in cities is increasing as people recognize the combined benefits of natural outdoor spaces and the energy saving properties of a roof that doubles as a park. In addition to increasing your office’s energy efficiency, they have been proven to benefit the environment and your employees’ morale in immediate and direct ways. All green roofs can increase your office’s energy efficiency, but a vegetative roof can also provide a pleasant escape from the city’s heat and barrenness. Whatever route you choose to go green, you will be benefitting both your bottom line and the environment.
Green roofs and walls are often discussed these days. But few realise that they have been part of Sydney's landscape since the 1930's. True, they were a rare sight back then a luxury reserved only for multi-national companies and just in ten years there has been a 70% spike in the number of green buildings across the metropolis. However, over the last eighty years local government in NSW's capital city has done much to support and encourage the green roofs and wall installations in the metropolis. Having in mind that synopsis predict average growth of urban population in Australia's biggest cities to reach more than 40% by 2030. So far there are 49 approved green roof installations on Sydney's territory varying significantly in proportions. Some are as small as a couple of planter boxes placed on a building's rooftop while others are truly majestic. The most expensive and memorable rooftop garden built on local ground is the iconic garden on top of the MCentral residential building in Pyrmont. Spreading on over 2600 square meters of community rooftop area which was considered a breath of fresh air as opposed to the "standard in luxury housing" - huge swimming pools. Green walls also are becoming a more common sight in the city. 14 sites across the metropolis already have such installations. Sydney's pride and joy in sustainable architecture is Australia's biggest green wall (so far). The formidable installation in Chipendale, Sydney is certainly a sight worth seeing. With green panels covering 1,000 square meters of the One Central Park both on the in- and outside. This exceeds the previous Australian record holder - the installation at 1 Bligh Street (again in Sydney) which is 9 metre high and 40 metre long. Breaking Ground on the New Green Roof and Wall Policy in Sydney The City of Sydney has chosen an ambitious but estimable path to expand the green areas in the metropolis and encourage green building and sustainable development in the area. The local authorities have been conducting studies on green installations. Some are aimed towards assessing public opinion while others try to measure the estimate costs and benefits of green roofs and walls. Additionally, potential locations are being scouted. After a full analysis of the industry environment, international policies and programs, as well as considering the current industry drivers and development, the government will develop a special policy to encourage the green roof and wall creation in the city. Main Objectives of the New Green Roof and Wall Policy Providing guidance and leadership to local businesses and residential associations; Addressing potential obstacles to the implementation of green roofs and walls projects in the metropolitan zone; Working shoulder-to-shoulder with community members, local and international businesses and other stakeholders; Promoting the green roofs and walls idea and providing more information about it; Aid local research on the subject; Leading by example with implementing green roof and wall technologies on Government and Council properties; Documenting, evaluating and publishing current results of the development of each project. While many obstacles lie ahead like minimising the costs of the special irrigation systems, the creation of a potential project by a specialised landscape architect and naturally the day-to-day garden space maintenance which also needs to be conducted by professionals, the benefits of green roofs and walls remain immense. Professor Stuart White of the University of Technology in Sydney reminds that the green roof and walls projects might not solve the city's air quality issues but they are still a vital step towards a better, greener future for NSW's capital city. A Great Example of the Benefits of Green Spaces Wayside Chapel in Potts Point has a rooftop garden. While the installation certainly improves the building's carbon footprints and its overall sustainability but its benefits don't end there. For people with mental disabilities, taking care of plants and seeing them grow and flourish is a part of their healing process. Producing the food served in the dishes is more therapeutic than one would imagine. Thus, the advantages of adding more green areas throughout the city is about more than just improving the sustainability of Sydney, it's about strengthening community bonds.