plant your roof

Now this should be fun…

Bexar Audubon Society’s Vegetated-Roofs Competition

Vegetated rooftops are one of the most promising trends in conservation. Buildings with such roofs incur lower heating/cooling costs. We all benefit from reduced demand for energy, reduced heat-island effect on urban weather, cleaner air, and habitat for birds and beneficial insects. Potential benefits include increased customer traffic; more usable business space (rooftop break areas, snackbars and boutiques); even tourism (think about the famous “Hanging Gardens of Babylon”).

PRIZES

To foster this trend, Bexar Audubon offers a cash prize for “Best Vegetated Roof” finished in the year ending April 18, 2009. First prize: $2,000 for the building owner or renter who finances construction and $500 for the primary creator. Second prize: $1,000 and $250.

ELIGIBILITY

Any new or existing building — public, industrial, commercial or residential — in Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Bandera, Wilson, Atascosa and Medina Counties.

CRITERIA

No minimum size, but roofs must be “substantially” vegetated, i.e., enough to make a significant difference in energy waste, heat island effect and/or human or wildlife use.

APPLICATIONS

Applications will be accepted from April 18 to June 30, 2009. Forms will be at http://www.bexaraudubon.org by April 18, 2009. There is no fee, but photos and a brief narrative are requested.

JUDGING

A panel chosen by Bexar Audubon Society will make an on-site inspection, plus follow-up visits as needed, during July-August 2009. Judging will be based on a holistic impression of effectiveness, attractiveness and creativity. Judges’ decisions are final.

AWARD CEREMONY

Announcement of winners will be made by Sept. 30, 2009. Presentations will be scheduled by mutual agreement.

DETAILS

See http://www.bexaraudubon.org/prize.html. For aditional questions, e-mail president@bexaraudubon.org.

So, you’ve gotten cool with solar and “get” the whole whole foods thing, but who’s gonna explain this crazy roots-on-the-roof stuff?

Well, you could start with – what else? – greenroofs.com. Listen to a podcast from GreenWorksRadio. Or check out this pdf from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Here’s where Buildings.com (“For Facilities Decision-Makers”) take off on the topic:

Vegetated roofs – often de­­scribed as green roofs, living roofs, or ecoroofs – are surging in popularity. Well-designed
vegetated roofs provide advantages beyond the typical insulation and watertightness qualities of a non-vegetated roof. They are remarkable “green machines” that can cool cities, reduce stormwater runoff, improve runoff quality, increase open space, extend overall roof life, and reduce cooling costs. Vegetated roofs can be spectacular rooftop amenity spaces that increase a building’s market value and appeal, too… mas?

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