The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance

The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation and Maintenance is out!  We launched it earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in Washington DC, and Ed took it global, signing books at the World Green Roof Congress in London. While it’s still new to the market, we’re happy with the feedback we’re getting so far.

Our goal with The Green Roof Manual was to bring readers lessons from the field, gleaned from visits to many built projects and interviews with designers, installers, scientists, and other experts. The green roof market, at least here in North America, is so new, and green roofs are so different to what people are used to seeing on top of buildings (asphalt shingles, black waterproofing membranes, rumbling HVAC equipment), that sorting through all of the information can be overwhelming, even for designers.

This green roof with grasses is located on a post office facility on 9th Avenue in New York City. (Photo by Linda McIntyre)

But, after about a decade of growing popularity and installations across the US and Canada, we’re starting to see some factors common to successful green roofs: designs keyed to specific objectives, use of tested and proven materials, plants appropriate to a rooftop environment and the roof’s microclimates, and regular maintenance, especially in the weeks and months just after planting.

An aerial shot of a green roof at Columbia University in New York City. (Photo by Linda McIntyre)

While green roof technology is not a magic solution to all of our environmental problems, it can help cities to manage storm water more effectively and mitigate the impact of heat-absorbing pavement and buildings. Green roofs can also make our built environments more beautiful, bringing plants and wildlife to places previously devoid of them. Let’s build more of them, but let’s build them right!

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