Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Roofs for Windows! Eco-Friendly, Habitat Creating, Energy Saving Design

Green Roofs for Windows!

Most of us have shades and curtains on the interior of our homes and buildings to block the glare of the morning or afternoon sun and mitigate the temperature impact.

The photo to the left shows two trellis built in front of two large windows.

The design takes advantage of two benefits;
  • Vines and plants can block the sun and provide shade
    • Evergreen vines offer shade for the entire year.
    • Deciduous vines block summer radiant heat but allow the sun's warming rays to enter the windows during the cooler summer months when the vine's leaves fall and the the solar infiltration is needed.
  • Vines and plants can offer a level of privacy by screening views.
On the left, the antique climbing rose, a China rose,  Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis', also commonly known as "Tipo Ideale" - There are several interesting web resources about China roses and the history behind the varieties - Tipo can grow like a tree.  The vine to the left is well over 14 feet tall.  The rose vine is supported by an arched trellis extending above a large windows and framing either side of the window.

Antique Rose - Tipo Ideale is a great Living Wall
The Tipo rose is planted for privacy and offers evergreen, year-round shade as well as flowering beauty.

Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis' is a fast growing vine, ideal for covering large areas or fenestration.

THe vine to the right of the Tipo Ideale antique climbing rose is a deciduous Thunbergia.

The Thunbergia covers an even larger plate glass due east-facing plate glass window.

During the summer months the solar radiation is filtered from 10:00 am through the rest of the day, allowing adequate light levels to enter the adjacent room but preventing harsh, hot solar gain from occurring.  

Thunbergia grandiflora
 The Thunbergia blooms from spring until frost as does the climbing rose.

Visual inspections of the roof area have shown that though both vines grow up onto and over the roofing (shingles), there is no intrusion into the roofing material.

Because the vines shade the asphalt shingles, there may be UV protection afforded to the roof.

Habitat creation is also an important factor with both vines.

In addition to the anoles, both Florida and Cuban, numerous insects, butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects visit the vines on a daily basis.

Thunbergia grandiflora vine
 Neither of these two vines are irrigated other than through natural precipitation.  Both are subject to long periods of drought and, because they are immediately adjacent to the gutterless roof slope, both are subjected to intense inundation during rain events.

Designing volumetric green into the Urban Core offers many benefits, including;
  • Cleaning stormwater
  • Providing Habitat
  • Reducing Heat Island Effect
  • Creating Beauty
  • Sequestering Carbon and Uptaking CO2
  • Pumping O2 back into our Air
  • and much more.
As always, email us with your questions and comments
here -

Happy Green Roofing!


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