A Rooftop Oasis Blooms in Lynn

From wood shakes and asphalt shingles to PVC and EPDM, there are many ways to put a roof over your head and keep out the weather. Roofs can do much more than just keep us warm and dry though: white roofs minimize heat island effect, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity, and sun tunnels direct daylight to interior spaces.

Green roofs, which are partially or completely covered in vegetation, can also provide substantial benefits. In addition to their visual appeal, green roofs offer enhanced insulation, reduce heat island effect, and contribute to stormwater management.

In November of 2008, Chapman completed an addition to the Elder Service Plan of the North Shore’s Lynn facility. Since the addition was to be built on a poorly drained section of parking lot subject to frequent flooding, minimizing the amount of impervious surface was a key design requirement. The project team selected a hybrid green roof system by Live Roof, which combines the advantages of modular, plant-in-place and carpet-type systems.

In addition to the stormwater issues, the facility had a cramped employee break room and little usable outdoor space. By installing a green roof on the addition, the client was able to gain valuable outdoor space adjacent to the existing break room, provide additional insulation value to the addition’s roof and complement the stormwater solution – all while dramatically improving the roof’s aesthetic appeal.

Green roofs can take a year or more to grow to maturity, but during a recent visit to the Lynn site we saw first-hand just how impressive a blossoming roof can be. We were pleased to learn that employees regularly use the roof deck for lunch and informal meetings, and that the parking lot puddles have become a thing of the past.

To learn more about the range of green roof systems available today as well as the science and practical application of these systems, stop by Chapman’s office on September 29th for a free and informative presentation by Shauna Gillies-Smith from Ground, Inc. and Jorg Breuning from Green Roof Service. As with Chapman’s previous presentations, registered architects and LEED APs can earn credit toward their professional designations by attending.

published 09.09.2010

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