Six Green Spaces That Transform Buildings into Sky Gardens

Six Green Spaces That Transform Buildings into Sky Gardens

THE LDS CONFERENCE CENTER (SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES)

VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE (VANCOUVER, CANADA)

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Friday, April 1, 2016 - 8:05am

CAMPAIGN: CBRE Environmental Sustainability

CONTENT: Blog

Who says a garden can’t grow atop the concrete jungle? A spate of new buildings across the world are being topped off with “green roofs”—spaces that incorporate environmentally-friendly features such as flower beds, vegetable patches and solar panels, transforming these structures into large-scale sky gardens. Most recently, in France, the government passed a law mandating that all new commercial buildings must feature green roofs partially covered with either plants or solar panels.

The following green roofs are among the world’s most recognizable.

THE LDS CONFERENCE CENTER (SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES)
The roof of the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, overlooks the mountains of the Wasatch Range—a perfect starting point for creating a green roof that blends in seamlessly with its surrounding environment. Spanning four acres, this green roof is bordered on its north and east sides with aspen planters and conifer-forested terraces, and features a waterfall that falls two stories into a source basin.

Susan Weiler, ASLA, of Olin Partnership, the firm that designed the roof of the LDS Conference Center, explained toLandscape Architecture Magazine in 2006 that the water features proved to be challenging to incorporate into the entire design. Ultimately, the water features gave the space a “focal point for reflection, a refreshing element in a hot environment, and the aural benefit of moving water.”

“This was an extraordinary example of architects and landscape architects merging to integrate a project into the wider natural landscape,” said Weiler.

VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE (VANCOUVER, CANADA)
The Vancouver Convention Centre’s LEED Platinum certification isn’t the facility’s only “green” feature. Sitting atop the Convention Centre is a six-acre “living” roof that boasts over 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses from the Gulf Islands. The roof is so vast that its rich landscape is trimmed just once a year—a task that requires a team of eight landscapers and takes a week to finish.

There is plenty of animal life to be found on the roof as well. Birds, insects and tiny mammals have made a home on the roof. European honeybees also live inside the roof’s four beehives, and produced 80 pounds of wildflower honey in 2014. The living roof also works as an “ecological staircase,” in which the many species and plants that inhabit the roof filter and purify rainwater for reuse.

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CATEGORY: Environment