RL Magazine
Edition 44
Message from the Editor: Happy Travels
By Lyndsey Turner

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Having recently visited the California academy of Sciences “Living Roof” in San Francisco I thought I would share with you some interesting facts on

Most typical roofs are black tar-and-asphalt which leads to a phenomenon called the “Urban Heat Island” effect. The endless sea of black rooftops and pavement trap heat, causing cities to be 6 to 10 degrees warmer than outlying greenbelt areas. One-sixth of all electricity consumed in the U.S. goes to cool buildings. The Academy's green rooftop keeps the building's interior an average of 10 degrees cooler than a standard roof would. The plants also transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, capture rainwater, and reduce energy needs for heating and cooling.

An added bonus to a “living roof” is its beauty. The academy has the largest concentration of native wild flowers in San Francisco and also attracts birds, butterflies and insects. Since it conception it has been coined to consumers at a “Green Roof” and is quickly becoming the modern home owners garden. Here are some of the benefits of having a “Green Roof” installed at your home:

  • Reduce heating and reduces heat loss and energy consumption in winter conditions
  • Reduce cooling by evaporative cooling on a building by fifty to ninety percent especially if it is glassed in so as to act as a terrarium
  • Reduce stormwater run off & stormwater tax reduction
  • Filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air which helps lower disease rates such as asthma
  • Help to insulate a building for sound
  • Increase roof life span dramatically
  • Increase real estate value
  • Reduction in energy usage

Having a “living roof” not only has environmental benefits but also has great financial benefits, something to consider the next time your out in your Garden.

Lyndsey Turner, Editor • Editor@RLA.org

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