Today, building sustainable communities has become a global challenge that presents exciting new opportunities for the use of green roofs.
Green roofs have been used around the world for centuries, particularly in Western Europe, yet little is known about how they perform in localized climates.
In the Vancouver Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, increased population is resulting in an unsustainable increase in stormwater runoff and energy consumption. People are starting to recognize that green roof technology can help address these issues.
Prior to widespread adoption of green roof technology, there is a pressing need to obtain objective evidence that perceived benefits of this technology are valid in our region. BCIT's Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Technology was established to:
Conduct applied research on how green roofs perform within Vancouver's temperate rainforest.
Develop a Regional Infrastructure Network to inventory the performance of green roofs.
Develop a Roofing Evaluation Module (REM) to provide third party testing/verification of product performance and climatic functioning.
Support process and technology innovation within the growing regional green roof industry.
Provide practical training opportunities on various aspects of green roof technology.
Improve public awareness of the technology through education and demonstration.
These efforts are aimed at supporting the entrepreneurs who are endeavoring to bring new products, processes, services and new technology into the BC market place.
The Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Research is guided by cutting-edge science. This position as qualitative "science-based" building construction is positively influencing the advancement of green roof technology in the Vancouver region.
Local research for the local climate
The research centre conducts applied research, collecting and analysing data on how green roofs perform within Vancouver's temperate rainforest.
Green roofs and weather stations are monitored to determine:
Stormwater runoff characteristics,
Quality of the stormwater runoff for reuse,
Thermal performance and associated energy cost savings
Plant species growth, soil media performance, and landscape maintenance requirements.
Thank you to Christine Thuring and her staff for the invite to visit this unique facility and the very informative tour I have received.