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Buildings Green Roof in North Carolina

Published on December 10th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

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Durham, NC Historic District Goes For Green Roofs

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December 10th, 2013 by
 
Green Roof in North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina’s historic district has recently begun to embrace green roofs — and the building shown above boasts the first such roof installed in the area. Of course, the area has strict rules about what can and can’t be done to historic buildings. So, how did the green roof’s builders manage to support all the added weight of the plants and soil?

That’s where the “extensive” green roof comes in. Extensive green roofs typically range from just 2 to 6 inches in depth, essentially creating shallow grass beds on top of buildings. This particular kind of green roof construction is relatively lightweight, making “extensive” roofs a possible option on older or historical retrofit projects without significant structural modifications.

According to David Aquilina of Xero Flor (the company that installed the extensive green roof shown here), green roofs can reduce the velocity and volume of runoff, help to filter pollutants out of rainwater, reduce the overall number of potentially harmful particulates out of air, and help to insulate rooftops by acting as a natural evaporative cooling system, saving building owners significant amounts of money.

The financial benefits for having green roofs, says Aquilina, are real. The green roof shown here, for example, covers less than 2400 square feet, yet is expected to prevent as much as 50,000 gallons of runoff annually.

What do you think, readers? Are green roofs the future of modern homes, or is this something that’s more suited to commercial applications? Let us know what you think the future holds for green roof projects like this.

Source | Photos: NC Sustainability Center.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Doug

    Green roofs are ok if people will actually be on the roof to enjoy the plants. Otherwise, solar would be better – or best, both.

    • A Real Libertarian

      If you can’t put solar, green roofs are the next best thing.

  • Wayne Williamson

    I think some solar panels would be a better use….

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