Creating outdoor spaces that are good for people AND the environment
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. ~