One must be persistent in the quest to green, or forest, all rooftops so that
from a bird’s eye view, one would only recognize a natural, green landscape.
When one creates green roofs, one doesn’t need to fear the so-called paving
of the landscape: The houses themselves become part of the landscape.
People must use the roofs to return to nature what they unlawfully
took from her by constructing homes and buildings,
namely the layer of earth for grasses and trees.”
Austrian artist and philosopher
We all know that plants reduce carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. The effect of green roofs and green walls on the cleanliness of the air is not as widely known. The air is improved via the plant’s absorption of airborne particles and organic compounds and via the deposition of such particles and compounds in the planting medium itself.
Green roofs and green walls also affect the quality of our water. On the one hand, they help reduce the amount of pollutants entering the water system. On the other hand, they prevent storm water from running off into the sewage system in big quantities, posing a risk of sewer overflow. The substrate of the green roof and/or green wall will store the excess water falling as rain during a storm, slowing the runoff into the canals and reducing many health risks.
Another important benefit of green roofs and green walls is their positive contribution to the reduction of the urban heat island effect. One of the main causes of this effect is the growth of the population with its consequent rapid alteration of land surfaces as well as the increased generation of waste heat due to increased energy usage. A green roof will positively impact the climate in the urban area through the daily dew and evaporation cycle and by that add to the health and welfare of the urban residents (and the animals sharing their space). Although one green roof alone will only have a negligible effect, the positive impact of a large number of green roofs will be considerable.
The reduction of noise is another benefit of green roofs and green walls by especially attenuating the low frequency sounds. A green roof or green wall can reduce sound from outside and thereby impact not only the health, but the wellbeing of urban residents.
Green roofs and green walls are also capable of reducing the penetration of electromagnetic radiation into urban dwellings. Although science is still debating the level of risk to human health posed by electromagnetic radiation coming from wireless devices and mobile communication, it is not contradicted.
Green roofs and green walls also increase a building’s marketability, stamping it green and modern.
Green roofs and green walls also improve the sustainability of bio-diversity, offering a habitat for a variety of plants, invertebrates, and bird species.
The more practical benefits of green roofs and green walls are the reduction of winter heating and summer cooling costs through their isolating thermal effect. They reduce the amount of energy needed to moderate the temperature in a building.
Finally, green roofs and green walls provide wonderful sites for urban agricultural projects, making it easy to ‘grow one’s own food’, offering increased feelings of self-reliance and improved levels of nutrition.
of the Austrian architect and artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser
includes over 990 tons of soil and 250 trees and shrubs.
His style is colorful and eccentric and was part of the
counter-culture of the 1960s and early 1970s, attracting
the attention of a very large number of (mainly young) people.
At the same time, ecologists and artists began to envision
what cities of the future could look like, when
enormous amounts of greenery are incorporated.