A World of Rooftops

Several interesting stories out there today on using our rooftops to make the world greener.

  • Steve at baloghblog points to news from China where many Shanghai rooftops will soon be sporting solar panels:

If the project becomes operational, 100,000 of the 6 million roofs in Shanghai, a city plagued by chronic power shortages, will be used to supply solar energy to local residents, revealed Professor Cui Rongqiang, director of the Institute of Solar Energy at Shanghai Jiaotong University and the head of the project, over the weekend.

According to Cui, the selected roofs will be equipped with a system that is able to convert sunlight into electricity by the end of 2015…

The university will use the green roof system for research purposes. Green Roofs are vegetated roof covers that help to reduce energy consumption and costs, decrease storm water runoff, and preserve the life of roof materials. Individual Green Roof Blocks™ cover four square feet of roof surface and contain a growth medium with drought resistant plants….

The initial 16 Green Roof Blocks™ installed are part of an eventual 1000 Green Roof Block™ system. The remaining Green Roof Blocks™ may be purchased by individuals for $100 each, with proceeds benefiting the student research project. Contributors will be able to compose a message on an engraved plate that will be mounted on a plaque overlooking the green roof. Each position on the roof will have a corresponding position on the plaque allowing donors to identify the particular Green Roof Blocks™ their donation made possible.

On a side note, I first came across Green Roof Blocks at the Earthways Center, where they have a demonstration of the blocks on a porch covering in the back yard.

  • From Treehugger, news that New York City’s Silvercup Studios (where The Sopranos is filmed, and which served as the location for the climactic fight to death in Highlander — c’mon, you know you saw it) now sports New York’s largest green roof.

“We are looking to demonstrate to the government, the public and most of all private business that green technologies are an economic benefit,” said Stuart Suna, co-owner of Silvercup Studios, in a recent article in the New York Times….

“Isolated green roofs are expensive insulation,” Ms. Hoffman (Director of Earth Pledge) said. “But when you have a whole community of green roofs, it changes the microclimate of the area and reduces demand for energy. Think about one sidewalk in front of a building. That doesn’t make a transportation path. But if everyone has one in front of their property, you have a way to walk around the city. Only a citywide effort can achieve that.”

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