How much should we focus on green roof biodiversity?

  • How much should we focus on green roof biodiversity?

  • Doctor Anna

    Organizer
    November 2, 2020 at 11:04

    How much should we focus on green roof biodiversity? I think this question depends very much on where you are. In, for example, Austria, the situation is very different from the e.g. the US. This is because people install green roofs for different reasons (generally) in these two countries.

    I must say that Austria is far, far ahead when it comes to environmental decisions, and thus the biodiversity topic. Also, Austria has a long history of traditional green roofs that the US does not to the same extent.

    I sometimes feel that people get locked into certain topics in a rather demagogic way and I feel this could result in a reduction in the green roof install-rates. This is an article from the US point of view and I very much get the point for the US (as I have solid experience of the US market). However, maybe the same arguments would not hold true for e.g. Sweden, or Austria (check out the organization Grun-Statt-Grau in Austria – GREAT STUFF!)

    https://www.purple-roof.com/post/green-roof-biodiversity-challenges

  • Johannes Wikstrom

    Member
    March 29, 2021 at 20:37

    I think this is an important question. Are we trying to remake nature, or just survive the inferno we have created?

    And where do we draw the line for diversity? Plants , insects, fungi, mammals, the nudist couple nextroof?

    As a northener I’d like seasonal changes. The beavis and buttheadisque “how green is it in winter huh-huh?” gets a little worn after the first thousand times heard. And a monoculture often is rather dull other than in it’s prime.

    As the buildings reach for the skies, we are huddlibg in darkness.

    Basically we are creating a termite society, lifting the soilsurface to the skyskrapers and leaving us hiding below. Have we created a new terra inferna maybe? With a new green coat for every building.

    Basically diversity thrives on diversity. A plateau is a plateau even if you cover it in 4 different sedum and call it charlie.

    Then when you want to bring in stuff you could find in a natural landscape, like shrubs and forests and topography they say the problem is weight, well, not entirely true, sayeth the man from the land of ice and snow. Cost is the issue. Oh. And probably something to do with earthquakes.

    Summa summarum I am for biodiversity. But there’s a lot of work to be done. I kinda like the story about the fox spotted on a green roof in London. Nature will find a way.

  • Tom Strelow

    Member
    April 12, 2021 at 02:03

    Nothing in nature happens in isolation. The choice of plants for an ecosystem can help or hurt the insect and aviary populations. For example, in California where I am, certain non-indigenous plants are similar enough that they can mimic natives as far as butterflies are concerned but have a different growth cycle which can prevent the migration of the butterflies at the appropriate times thus damaging their reproduction. Seeds from non-natives can migrate off of the targeted garden space and become invasive damaging the balance in the local ecosystem. So if by biodiversity one is considering these impacts on the native diversity, that’s a non-issue, if not planned properly it can be devastating.

    • Doctor Anna

      Organizer
      April 12, 2021 at 09:38

      I agree with you that we should use native plants as much as possible. However, I feel that we might lose out on a lot of good green solutions if we only focus on the so-called biodiverse roofs that require deep profiles that are heavy, as those will have a lower probability of being built due to construction costs and structural load reasons.

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