This post reports on a recent survey that indicates that the green roof sector in the US and Canada is enjoying excellent growth in spite of the very difficult economic environment that is prevailing in the building sector in general. The survey reports a growth of 28.5% and provides some background on what types of buildings and what cities are leading the adoption of green roofs.
A problem that worsens each decade for southern cities such as Houston or Phoenix is an effect called the Urban Heat Island (UHI_), for which inner city temperatures have been observed to exceed temperatures measured in nearby rural areas by amounts now approaching 20 F. This article proposes a novel and simple means of mitigating this by installing a straight-forward technology, called the Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE). it is estimated that, by installing AVE facilities that could continuously elevate 1000 m3/s of air per square kilometer of surface from the inner city into the mid troposphere. During hot summer months, approximately 0.3-0.5 kwh/m2/day of heat (~ 65% via evaporation) would be removed and a mean temperature reduction of 3-4 oF could thereby be achieved as cooler, drier air from rural areas is pulled in to replace the warmer, wetter air that would be ejected from the region.
This, the second article in our three part series on green parking lots continues by looking at some of the green parking lot design techniques and materials and how they help make parking surfaces more environmentally friendly and improve the urban space most of us live in. It suggests how smaller lots and smaller parking stall sizes, both acting to reduce the overall size of the parking lot is the very first thing to consider when designing a green parking lot. It then goes on to discuss in some detail the subject of alternate pavers that can absorb rain, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground below and thus substantially reduce runoff.