GREEN ROOFS

Cre­at­ing out­door spa­ces that are good for peo­ple AND the en­vi­ron­ment

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - by Brie Jar­rett - Dun­das, ON

Help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and cre­at­ing new liv­ing spa­ces

Cli­mate change is an ever-in­creas­ing topic of con­ver­sa­tion; re­duc­ing emis­sions, con­trol­ling pol­lu­tion and in­creas­ing greener ar­eas in cities. Since May 2009, Toronto, On­tario has been a pi­o­neer in these en­deav­ours, be­com­ing the first city in North Amer­ica to cre­ate a by­law re­quir­ing green roofs to be in­stalled on new com­mer­cial, industrial, in­sti­tu­tional, and multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments. With wide spread us­age, over time green roofs can con­trib­ute to re­duc­ing the phe­nom­e­non known as “ur­ban heat is­land” where city tem­per­a­tures rise sig­nif­i­cantly over that of ru­ral ar­eas.

Low­er­ing the tem­per­a­tures in the city will hap­pen in direct pro­por­tion to the num­ber of green roofs in­stalled. We can en­joy the im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits though as green roofs help in re­duc­ing heating and air-con­di­tion­ing con­sump­tion, which ben­e­fits not only the en­vi­ron­ment but our pock­et­books. In sum­mer, green roofs help cool by ab­sorb­ing and evap­o­rat­ing wa­ter, and in win­ter green roofs pro­vide greater in­su­la­tion. With flood­ing be­com­ing a fre­quent re­al­ity as we con­vert more and more land to pave­ment, green roofs help ab­sorb rain­wa­ter and de­crease the load from our storm drains. Count also, im­proved air qual­ity and greater bio­di­ver­sity as some tan­gi­ble and sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits of green roofs.

As we near the 10-year an­niver­sary of the City of Toronto’s Green Roof by­law, we now see green roofs be­ing uti­lized to

in­cor­po­rate “liv­ing” spa­ces on green roofs in the form of ter­races, pa­tios, park-like walk­ways and even for grow­ing food gar­dens re­plac­ing the foot­print that once ex­isted on the ground and el­e­vat­ing it.

This is where land­scape architects and de­sign­ers are get­ting cre­ative with out­door liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments on work or res­i­den­tial roof tops, for peo­ple to en­joy the cityscapes and green­ery. A out­stand­ing prod­uct that is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in de­signs are porce­lain slabs to use in cre­at­ing ter­races, walk­ways or even for wa­ter fea­tures. In keep­ing with Cana­dian great­ness, Ab­bots­ford Con­crete Prod­ucts are lead­ing the way with their Cana­dian man­u­fac­tured Aris­tokrat® Se­ries porce­lain slabs. At just two cm thick, Aris­tokrat® Se­ries porce­lain slabs in­stall eas­ily us­ing Ab­bots­ford Con­crete Prod­ucts own Black­Jack® Pedestals that pro­vide a ver­sa­tile and sus­tain­able cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion to sup­port raised slabs.

Aris­tokrat® Se­ries porce­lain slabs are not only easy to main­tain, but re­quire no seal­ing (which is great for the en­vi­ron­ment) and are re­sis­tant to stain­ing, fad­ing, mark­ing, and ex­treme weather. Non-slip and ex­tremely strong and durable, Aris­tokrat® Se­ries porce­lain slabs have a va­ri­ety of colour blends that em­u­late nat­u­ral lime­stone, gran­ite & mar­ble.

These two prod­ucts from Ab­bots­ford Con­crete Prod­ucts al­low de­sign­ers to cre­ate wel­com­ing out­door pa­tio and pedes­trian traf­fic spa­ces on com­mer­cial or res­i­den­tial roofs with­out dam­age to the pro­tec­tive roof mem­brane while main­tain­ing proper wa­ter run-off.

While we are cre­at­ing green roofs, to help com­bat cli­mate change for the fu­ture, let’s also think about uti­liz­ing these spa­ces to in­crease the qual­ity of life now for hu­mans too. ~

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