Top 10 hot trends in greenroof & greenwall design
And how ecologically better, in terms of the highest and greatest ecological use of space, than to cover these generally unused fifth façades than with living, breathing, vegetative roofs? Living roofs are true workhorses of the roofing world in that they offer such a wide spectrum of environmental benefits and opportunities for Earth’s flora, fauna, and human communities – all while pleasing our economic, aesthetic, and psychological sensibilities, too.
- 2011 marks the fifth anniversary of the “Top 10 List” and an amazing amount of development has occurred over the past five years in the vegetative roofing industry. Projects that were once scoffed at and considered impossible to get built are popping up all over the globe, and greenroofs are no longer considered fringe architecture, destined to be the first sacrifice to value engineering.
Read our September 26, 2011 Press Release Greenroofs.com Premiers the “2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” at the Inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011.
Amidst growing media interest and demand from public and private sectors, multidisciplinary professionals - from architects to environmental engineers, city planners to landscape architects and beyond - are redefining sustainability in the context of building design. We’re examining our environmental impacts on the Earth from a more integrated, holistic approach and using technologies which encourage energy efficient and environmentally friendly building envelopes, including the ubiquitous “fifth façade” – the rooftop.
As such, greenroofs are fast becoming green staples of chic sustainability in mainstream architecture and high performance building with a hip environmental sheen that is attractive to young and old. And we all know that greenroofs are vibrant and exciting alternatives to the average unused, hot, and often downright ugly black tar or concrete roofs that we see covering the world, but what and where are the new and exciting projects on the boards?
Enter the Greenroofs.com Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design to showcase the important, newsworthy and exciting greenroof projects from around the world! Our Design Editor Haven Kiers and Publisher/Editor Linda Velazquez inaugurated the series in 2007 at the Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards and Trade Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our Top 10 List is designed to be an eye catching and fast-paced presentation of case study vignettes representing the selected top ten categories highlighting the very best of what's hot now. Whether based on traditional applications with a twist or avant-guard projects combining living roofs, energy, and other green technologies, we select time-honored examples from which we designers can draw inspiration to current conceptual, high-profile media grabbing greenroofs which stimulate the senses!
- For our inaugural year in 2007, we explored "chic sustainability" and looked at examples of trailblazing and trendsetting greenroof design based on earlier examples of green architecture. "Visionary Proposed Projects" held the # 1 spot as a result. What makes a project visionary? Innovative solutions to environmental, social, and economic design challenges necessitate a combination of the above trends at various scales with a higher purpose for a higher good. These projects may still have been on the books, but they’re the ones that will define greenroofs for years to come for their ingenuity, productivity and compassion for both the human and built environments.
- Aside from our own editorial and experiential input, in 2008 we turned to greenroof industry professionals for inspiration and guidance and asked them to share their top 10 trends with us. Together we chose "The Influence of LEED on Design Professionals = Pushing the Green Envelope" for the top spot.
Jiang Cultural Center
- In 2009, the projects we chose all shared a similar concept - the desire to improve their surrounding environment. The focus of the Top 10 Trends of 2009 was on greenroof design as a means to combat problems in our world of the built environment versus nature, and restore sustainability to the eco-system.
Sandton City Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Although environmental drivers have always played a role in greenroof development, until recently they have taken a backseat to the flashier concepts of style and high design. The greenroofs previously garnering the most attention were the ones that skillfully blended vegetation with sleek proportions and transformed buildings into works of art. 2009's selection of greenroof projects still has that "wow" effect, with the exception that now aesthetics have become increasingly subservient to environmental and social functionality. These projects tackle global warming, stormwater run-off, decreased biodiversity, societal responsibility and other ecological issues with a combination of grit and style previously lacking in building design.
- New for 2010 was the addition of "& Greenwall" in the title! Greenwalls have graduated from simply being restrained to their own category within the Top 10 Lists. When fully integrated, sometimes it's hard to separate where the wall starts and where the roof ends, plus greenwalls are increasingly being incorporated into "Building Integrated Greenery" as their own architectural element.
The World Village Womens Sports Arena (WVWSA) in Malmo, by BIG Architects
Publisher Linda said, “The focus of the Top 10 Trends of 2010 illustrates global shifts in thinking about how we can manipulate the built environment through design to lessen its burden on the Earth's climate, energy, and natural resources, and increase the overall productivity of our built structures.”
The WVWSA in Malmo, by BIG Architects
Design Editor Haven Kiers added, “We have showcased some simply stunning and important built projects, those that are still on the boards, and several amazing, beyond forward-thinking conceptual designs that hopefully will materialize in the future!”
2011 Top 10: Coral Reef
To honor the new ubiquity of architectural greening, this year our Top 10 focuses on greenroofs at all different scales, from micro to macro. As “vegitecture” increasingly becomes a mainstay of both sustainable and cutting edge design, the list of greenroof and greenwall trends continues to expand.
2011 Top 10: The Pinnacle@Duxton
This year we’re showcasing greening at both the micro and the macro scale, from small scale DIY greenroof projects to towering skyscrapers stacked with fruit and vegetable crops, parks, and energy facilities atop sky gardens, walls and bridges.
2011 Hot Trends in GREENROOF & GREENWALL DESIGN
The Greenroofs.com Top 10 List:
10) Client Specific ‘Boutique’ Greenroofs
9) Mobile Gardens & Temporary Green Spaces and Exhibitions
8) Interior Plantings: Indoor Building Integrated Greenery
7) DIY Greenroofs and Living Walls for Small Projects
6) Affordable Greenroofs: Solving Environmental & Social Issues
5) Green + Blue Roofs = Integrated Water Management
4) Over the Top Residential Wonders, or Greenroofs of the Rich & Famous
3) Living Architecture & Cybertecture Fueled by Clean Technology
2) The Chinese Connection: Rise of the Green Giant
1) Skyscraping Sky Gardens on Roofs, Walls & Skybridges
The 2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design Video as presented at the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: