Monday, April 14, 2008

Why green roofs matter

Many older cities have combined storm and sanitary sewers that overflow with even moderate rainfall. This overflow means raw sewage can end up in the local waterways. Our waterways provide not only habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna, but they are often a potable water source for nearby communties as well. Yuck.

By increasing the pervious surface area of our densely built urban environments, we can reduce the amount of runoff and burden on the municipal infrastructure that struggles to handle the increasing runoff as development flourishes and severe weather events occur with greater frequency. The EPA has recently recognized that green infrastructure can be a more expedient and cost effective way to handle this urban problem when compared to digging up exisitng combined sewer lines and splitting them up:

In addition to aleviating stormwater issues, green roofs can keep ambient temperatures lower through evapotranspiration, which translates to lower cooling loads for the buildings in our urban environments and keeps everyone's carbon footprint a little smaller.

If you're interested in learning more about the costs, benefits and implications of green roofs, there are places to go to learn from the experts. One such event is coming up soon in Baltimore April 30-May 2.

The details:
•1000+ green roof professionals
•Trade show with 75+ exhibitors showcasing green roof products and services
•World-wide experts on issues related to policy, design and research
•Opening Reception and Awards of Excellence Luncheon
•Green roof training courses
•Continuing Education Credits
•Baltimore green roof tours
•Bookstore of green roof books
Register at:

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