For Great Pictures-
To Find out More
From the Ziggurat of Nanna to the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon, humans have been growing plants on roofs.
1914-Switzerland has one of Europe’s oldest green roofs, created in 1914 at the Moos lake water-treatment plant, Wallishofen, Zürich. Its filter-tanks have 30,000 square metres (320,000 sq ft) of flat concrete roofs. To keep the interior cool and prevent bacterial growth in the filtration beds, a drainage layer of gravel and a 15 cm (6 in) layer of soil was spread over the roofs, which had been waterproofed with asphalt.
1961: Berlin, Germany
Reinhard Bornkamm, a researcher at Berlin’s Free University, publishes his work on green roofs.
Today, it is estimated that about 10% of all German roofs have been “greened.”
1969: GENO Haus: Stuttgart, Germany
The Styrofoam base of this government-sponsored green roof remained functional until it was replaced in 1990.
Landscape architects Gerda Gollwitzer and Werner Wirsing publish Roof Areas Inhabited, Viable, and Covered by Vegetation, an early treatise on modern green roofs.
1975: Mainz, Germany
The Landscape Research, Development & Construction Society, which has established widely followed green-roof standards, is founded.
1983- Outside of Germany the City of Linz in Austria has been paying developers to install green roofs since 1983 and in Switzerland it has been a federal law since the late 1990s. In the UK their up-take has been slow but a number of cities have developed policies to encourage their use, notably in London and Sheffield.
1986: Hundertwasser Haus: Vienna, Austria
Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s public housing project in Vienna features trees and flowers on the building’s roof and balconies.
1993: Nine Houses: Dietikon, Switzerland
Architect Peter Vetsch builds nine concrete residences buried in earth and grass.
1995: Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall: Fukuoka, Japan
Emilio Ambasz transposes a 100,000-square-foot park in the city center onto 15 terraces of a new government building.
1997: Gap Headquarters: San Bruno, CA
William McDonough creates eco-friendly headquarters for the Gap, including a 69,000-square-foot green roof.
After seeing green roofs in Germany, Mayor Richard M. Daley directs municipal funds toward green-roof development.
1998: Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Green Building Council creates the LEED rating system; green roofs can contribute toward up to six points on the 69-point system.
1999-What is believed to be the world’s first green roof botanic garden was set up in Augustenborg, a suburb of Malmö, in May 1999. The International Green Roof Institute (IGRI) opened to the public in April 2001 as a research station and educational facility. (It has since been renamed the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute (SGRI), in view of the increasing number of similar organisations around the world.
1999: Toronto, Canada
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, an organization of public and industry groups, is formed to promote the construction of green roofs in North America.
2000: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Salt Lake City
Olin Partnership’s terraced green roof includes a three-acre meadow.
2001: Chicago City Hall: Chicago
William McDonough and landscape architects Conservation Design Forum install the country’s first municipal green roof on Chicago’s city hall. One of the largest expanses of extensive green roof is to be found in the USA, at Ford Motor Company‘sRiver Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan, where 42,000 square metres (450,000 sq ft) of assembly plant roofs are covered with sedum and other plants, designed by William McDonough. Built over Millennium Park Garage, Chicago’s 24.5-acre (99,000 m2) Millennium Park is considered one of the largest intensive green roofs.
2003: Atlanta City Hall: Atlanta
The green roof on Atlanta’s city hall becomes the first municipally owned one in the Southeast.
2003: Ford Rouge Center: Dearborn, MI
William McDonough plants one of the largest green roofs in the world on Ford’s assembly plant, which now attracts ecotourists.
2003: The Solaire: New York
The first green residential high-rise in North America, designed by Rafael Pelli with landscape architect Diana Balmori, includes two green roofs.
2004: Millennium Park: Chicago
One of the largest green roofs in the world, the park extends 24.5 acres over underground parking garages.
2008: Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park: New York
The first Platinum LEED high-rise office building will include a 4,500-square-foot green roof on a connecting building.
2008– The new California Academy of Sciences building in San Francisco‘s Golden Gate Park has a green roof that provides 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) of native vegetation designed as a habitat for indigenous species, including the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly. According to the Academy’s fact sheet on the building, the building consumes 30-35% less energy than required by code.
- Ecoroof Program. City of Portland, Oregon. www.cleanrivers-pdx.org/clean_rivers/ecoroof.htm
- Emory Knoll Farms. Supplier of plants and plant expertise for extensive green roof systems. www.greenroofplants.com
- Ford Motor Company. Green roof of 10.4 acres at Dearborn Truck Plant final assembly building. http://www.ford.com/en/company/about/corporateCitizenship/principlesProgressPerformance/our-actions/rouge-environment.htm
- Greengrid. Flexible green roofing system. www.greengridroofs.com
- Green Roofs: The greenroof industry resource portal. www.greenroofs.com
- Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Network of public and private organizations. www.greenroofs.org
- Greening Gotham: A Project of the Earth Pledge Green Roofs Initiative. www.GreeningGotham.org
- Roof Gardens: History, Design, and Construction. Theodore Osmundson, FASLA. W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., New York. 1999.
- Roofscapes, Inc. Green technology for the urban environment. www.roofmeadow.com