Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA Associate, LEED AP and Haven Kiers, LEED AP
Originally published for the 2007 Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards and Trade Show, Updated in December, 2007

Greenroofs are constantly touted for their ecological benefits but rarely for their contribution to the current architectural vernacular. This presentation will look beyond the function of greenroofs and instead focus on the top 10 hottest architectural trends in vegetated rooftop design. Greenroofs deliver much more to the urban landscape than just the obvious ecological, economic and aesthetic attributes of stormwater management, temperature and energy reduction, and provision of additional green space. Why do clients want a greenroof? Should a greenroof be defined solely by its function as an ecological cover? Can greenroofs also be sexy and outrageous? Are they the next big design trend in architecture? How are designers pushing the limits? These are the questions that underpin our collection of innovative projects and market drivers from across the globe. We will deliver a fast-paced Top Ten List of vignettes that thrum with oppositions of our established perceptions and experience, highlighting out-of-the ordinary applications, specialty designs and even bizarre projects on the boards. Looking beyond stormwater and heat islands, we'll explore plans for innovative recreation, including a rooftop ski slope in Delft, the Netherlands, and a converted helipad-turned-temporary grass tennis court 692 feet in the air in Dubai. We’ll look at less typical greenroof market drivers, such as a 670 SF doggie greenspace for a 10-year old, 9-pound Yorkie and a rooftop garden with plants from the Bible as a teaching laboratory for ministers. See a native desert greenroof in the American southwest and an old fashioned front porch perched on a greenroof in the middle of Manhattan, complete with squeaky screen door and a rocking chair. Explore greenroofs that defy expectations of sedum and wildflower meadows and instead integrate sleek and sexy vegetation with the building form. Proposed projects we'll delve into include plans for rice paddies on rooftop farms in China and the Vancouver Olympic Village with 50% greenroof coverage.

Introduction Headline grabbing environmental subjects like global warming, the search for renewable energies and sustainable design have inevitably encompassed greenroofs as one of the leading green motifs in 21st-century green architecture trends. Along these lines, “Chic Sustainability” now runs the gamut from greenroofs designed to reintroduce biodiversity teaming with birds, spiders and bees1 to sleek, modern design in minimalist settings across the globe. From the Publisher and Design Editor of comes our view of the hottest architectural trends in greenroof design today. Our completely subjective Top Ten List is gathered from continent to continent compiled from our experiences within the international greenroof world – from published accounts to interviews with the designers, manufacturers, and users – and is not meant to be comprehensive in scope, but rather representative of the many excellent and exciting projects out there. Established, newly built and proposed, even some unsung beauties are highlighted, all providing interesting fodder to our eclectic mix. This is not a popularity contest, not an awards show; please don’t be offended if your projects are not listed here! Rather they are representative of some of the oldies but goodies and the new cutting edge off the wall projects Influences: The Age of Technology Advances in technology have not also only influenced the power of the media, but have transformed the way we look at multimedia and the ways in which information is presented to us. Take Google Earth, for example. This technology provides a true bird’s eye view of our world at different scales - from a global mega view down to a specific site view. Google satellite photos once only available in plan view can now be seen in 3D. Meant to tantalize and inform, the imagery allows us to design, view, and learn about architecture (and greenroofs) on a global scale.

Google Maps & Google Earth: Chicago City Hall, resplendent in all its verdant glory as compared to surrounding white and black roofs. Satellite imagery: talk about transparency in design! Many greenroofs stream real time data from their host websites. This advent of live webcams perched atop projects is another example of integrating technology to further inform and illustrate the decidedly visual properties of living roofs. Numerous greenroof properties have webcams, including ASLA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Student Union Expansion at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, and the

Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education Center in Milwaukee, WI. Live data sharing is one trend which will no doubt continue. Through such technological advances, the built environment has developed to become virtually transparent: open to the public domain, open to speculation and review. These advances, in turn, literally provide the world with an opportunity to witness firsthand the growing body of greenroof projects. Multimedia Influences The second contributing factor complementing the campaign for greenroofs is media exposure. Interestingly, as greenroofs have been growing in number, they have also been catching the attention of the media beyond the traditional print and even radio venues – due, no doubt, to the innate visual nature of living architecture. National print coverage on greenroofs continues from such sources as Newsweek, Forbes, and USA Today, to Vanity Fair’s recent special Green Issue. But video footage in particular has brought the concept to life. Recent greenroof footage has been included on NBC Nightly News, CBS 3, One News from New Zealand, HGTV, and in high profile television series including PBS’s Edens: Lost & Found and The Victory Garden. The topic is all over the internet – on websites and forums from the greenroof standards like and to sites less obviously associated with greenroofs, including Fortune/, and Blogs such as Gristmill, Inhabitat, Treehugger, and even Wikipedia and MySpace now include regular postings on greenroofs. You can check out many greenroof videos on GreenroofsTV here on from YouTube and more! Gathered from many sources, the projects listed are exemplary on many levels, and you will see natural overlapping within categories as greenroofs are integrated design features of green building and therefore function on many levels. Looking beyond stormwater and heat islands, the list will explore innovative projects around the world, discover greenroofs that defy expectations of the norm, investigate sleek and sexy vegetation integrated into the building form, and delve into plans for some out-of-this world organic architecture. Our Top Ten List is offered simply to inform, entertain, and perhaps inspire you to perceive and embrace applications or designs beyond your own established perceptions, as we see it. Let us know about your designs for next year’s list!

Favorites not on “The List” On a lighter note, and before we get to the real thing, here are some categories and projects that for one reason or another just couldn’t cut it for our 2007 Top Ten List. But we’re going to show them, just for fun…

A new organic way to green the skyline: The “Green Gherkin,” Inhabitat's April Fool’s ‘07 Inspiration – CHIA vegetated wall and roof panels? Too bad it’s not real!

Greenroof Transportation? Leave it up to the Swiss! Interestingly, the company advertised is a medicinal herb company. Photo Courtesy Rob Berghage from Penn State.

Fashion & Décor: What to wear at your next green party from Inhabitat…And how to dress your tablescape and surroundings for green chic sustainability and success, too! And our favorite fantasy living roof of all time not on “The List” is:

Edible Residential Greenroofs in Middle Earth: Unfortunately, Hobbits were not eligible this year, but were encouraged to try again… And now without further ado, back to the real thing:

The Top Ten List of Hot Greenroof Design Trends for 2007:
10) Unique Market Drivers: Boutique Greenroofs 9) Sports & Recreation in Unexpected Places 8) Living Roofs and Living Walls = a Living Skin for Green Buildings 7) Eco Resorts, Hotels & Therapeutic Gardens 6) Food on the Roof: Skyrise Urban Ag 5) Physics-Defying & Cutting-Edge Applications 4) Government and Big Box Retailers as Big Environmentalists 3) Cool Green Residences: Organic Integration of Mind, Body & Soul 2) Bigger is Better – Mega Greenroofs 1) Visionary Proposed Projects

10) UNIQUE MARKET DRIVERS: BOUTIQUE GREENROOFS One of the benefits of greenroofs is that they create amenity space where there once was none and provide owners with a blank canvas upon which they can construct their ultimate vision and fulfill their perceived needs. Boutique greenroofs are highlighted as niche projects designed for distinctive, highly personal reasons. Each novel application has the potential to be "the next big thing" in greenroof design, but right now these projects are simply designed to solve client-specific objectives.

Carrabba's Italian Grills2: Market Driver is Carrabba's “Illusion of Tuscany” from 19982005; Commercial; Architect: James Wines; Approximately 104 restaurants greened ranging from 1,000 – 1,700 sf; throughout the U.S.

Asphof Hen Unit3 (above) and Asphof Hay Shed4: Bio-hen unit for free roaming organic chickens & owner’s need for growing a crop of "medicinal plants” for glaucoma relief; 2005; Commercial; Rothenfluh, Switzerland.

3TEN HauStudio5: Doggie greenspace and park for an elderly 10-year old, 9-pound Yorkie; 2001; Multi-Use; Greenroof Design Consultant: Linda S. Velazquez, Sky Gardens Design and Shelly Cannady, Connoisseur Gardens; Atlanta, GA.

Laban Dance Centre6 (above) and Creekside Education Centre7 (right): Brown “rubble” living roofs for natural colonizing help reestablish the habitats of endangered black redstart birds. Brownfield redeveloper requirements have resulted in “Over 100,000 m² Greened for a Bird Alone”8 in London, England; 2002/2003; Commercial/ Educational; Architect: Herzog & De Meuron/ Alexander Sedgley, Urban Edge Studio; London, England, UK.


Augustenborg's Botanical Roof Garden9: The world’s first botanical garden located entirely on top of a roof for education, testing, growing crops (atop the Scandinavian Green Roof Institute); 2001-ongoing; Municipal/Educational; Designers and Greenroof Systems: Various; Malmö, Sweden.

Mazurek Art Studio10: Parents wanted the setting to blend into their organic gardens and natural environment for pets & wildlife and to encourage artistic creation for their young children; 2004; Residential; Designer: Patrick Carey, hadj design; Seattle, WA.

Calhoun School11: The school expansion eliminated the playground, so they moved it to the roof with an educational meadow and more; 2004; Educational; Designer: Fox and Fowle; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; New York, NY.

High Desert Church Bible Garden12: A rooftop garden with historical plants from the Bible as a teaching laboratory for ministers (e.g., anise, hyssop, marjoram, heath, myrrh, rushes); Current; Religious; Architect & Landscape Architect: RNL; Victorville, CA.

9) SPORTS & RECREATION IN UNEXPECTED PLACES When people think of greenroofs, images of sledding hills, sky-high tennis courts, and bowling don’t normally come to mind – let alone sunbathing "au naturel." But this first category of greenroofs defies expectations by raising athletes and bystanders both to a higher level of competition (or participation).

Burj Al Arab Hotel13: A converted helipad-turned-temporary grass tennis court 692 feet in the air was the setting for Roger Federer and Andre Agassi at the world’s only 7-star hotel; 2005; Commercial; Architect: Jumeirah; Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Giese + Giese Golf Course14: An intensive Par-3 golf course on the roof with water features offers clients and employees unexpected sporting and recreational benefits; 1996; Corporate; Greenroof System: ZinCo; Berlin, Germany.

Brit’s English Garden Pub15: A manicured rooftop lawn doubles as a bowling facility attached to an Irish Pub; 1997; Commercial; Minneapolis, MN.

Delft Technical University Library16: A greenroof is converted into a winter hill for sledding; 1998; Educational; Building Physics Consultant: Advies-bureau Peutz Associes b.v.; Delft, The Netherlands.


Subaru Showroom17: A car and sport utility showroom has its own test driving course for off-roading maneuvering on top of their roof for promotion and customer enjoyment; 2005; Commercial; Greenroof System: ZinCo; Singapore.

Böblingen Mineraltherme18: Mineral baths, pools, spa and activities for the whole family with greenroofs for sunning and relaxing - clothing optional! 1990; Commercial; Böblingen, Germany. Photo submitted by Jörg Breuning and Peter M. Philippi of Green Roof Service LLC.

8) LIVING ROOFS AND LIVING WALLS Living walls have emerged as the next big thing in architectural greening. And the latest trend is to combine them with greenroofs to create a “living skin” for buildings. What better way to create truly “green” architecture? Organic architecture on facades and rooftops has been around for centuries, but the modern day visionary has to be Austrian Friedenreich Hundertwasser. Here we look at various styles of green walls and see how the definition of wall and roof is sometimes blurred and morphed as they integrate with greenroofs to fully encompass a building as a living machine.

Friedenreich Hundertwasser as the inspirational artist, and living wall trailblazer. Hundertwasser-Haus in Vienna, Austria: 1977-1986. Left Photo Source: Right Photo Source: Photo Copyright 2003 Glenn Bristol.

ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall19: 100,000-squarefoot park in the city center onto 15 stepped terraces - a roof or living walls, or a combo of the two - a pyramid! 1995; Commercial; Architect: Emilio Ambasz & Associates; Fukuoka, Japan.

Aargauer Kunsthaus (Art Gallery)20: Living shingles of mosses green up the roof and walls in the form of pregrown tiles; Commercial; 2003; Greenroof/Greenwall System and Designer: MCK ENVIRONNEMENT; Aarau, Switzerland.


Munich Re Office Building21: Insurance offices with interior greenroof courtyard and exterior living wall panels of mosses; Corporate; 2002; Greenroof System and Designer: MCK ENVIRONNEMENT; Munich, Germany.

Aquaquest, the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre, Vancouver Aquarium22; A living wall with intensive roof deck planters; 2006; Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc.; Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Musee de Quai Branly23: A lush living wall on Jean Nouvel’s Musee de Quai; Commercial; 2006; Designer: Patrick Blanc; Paris, France.

Culver House24: A condo project with a double-paned glass facade that includes a planted green roof, terraces and greenhouses; Current; Mixed Use/Residential/ Condominium; Architect: Dirk Denison; Chicago, IL.

7) ECO RESORTS, HOTELS & THERAPEUTIC GARDENS Move over Marriot, and bland, antiseptic hospitals, too. The new trend for luxury hotels and medical care is sometimes sleek, sometimes fully organic, but always chic and environmentally friendly, with greenroofs topping the list of “must have” amenities. Luxury eco travelers and healthcare patients and visitors alike now bask in the soothing, healing properties of nature found atop a greenroof. As green building increasingly becomes “de rigueur,” thanks in part to the United State’s Green Building Council’s LEED certification program as well as to the growing realization that building green can often save money over the long term, more and more architects and designers have begun designing for sustainability of the senses and our Earth.

Kandalama Hotel25: Modern hotel designed to blend into the lush jungle landscape with green roofs and planted facades; 1991-1994; Commercial; Architect: Geoffrey Bawa; Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

Post Ranch Inn – Ocean House26: Five single standing structures with curved beam roofs covered in wildflowers and overlooking the Pacific Ocean; Commercial; Architect: Mickey Muennig; Big Sur, CA.

InterContinental Resort27: Soothing roof meadows calm hotel guests and blend into the natural scenery of the Alps; 2004; Commercial; Greenroof System: Optigrün; Berchtesgaden, Germany.

Hotel Remota28: This 4-star ocean front eco-resort “Remote Hotel” is a 72-room hotel that blends into the surrounding vistas, thanks to the native greenroofs, and offers unparalleled luxury in the Patagonia of southern Chile; 2006; Commercial; Architect: German del Sol; Puerto Natales, Chile.


Princeville Hotel29: A luxury hotel perched on the cliffs above Hanalei Bay in Kauai greenroofs were added to the stepped roofs below main hotel to soften the view out to the bay (and improve images displayed on hotel’s web cam); 2005; Commercial; Developer: Princeville Associates LLC; Princeville, Hawaii.

Warapuru Resort30: An exclusive modern ecoresort set on the beach off the Bahia coast in the Brazilian rain forest also offers lavish private residences; Current; Commercial, MultiUse; Anouska Hempel Design; Itacaré, Brazil.

Olson Family Garden, St. Louis Children's Hospital31: This interactive healing roof garden offers horticultural therapy and fun, dedicated to healing mind and body through connections with nature; 2006; Healthcare; Landscape Architect: EDAW and Mackey Mitchell Associates; St. Louis, MO.

Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital Rooftop Garden32: The hospital’s roof-top garden was the best solution for providing real life skills practice for its patients; 2003; Healthcare; Greenroof System: American Hydrotech; Landscape Architect: Douglas Hills Associates; Chicago, IL.

Massachusetts General Hospital Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care33: The Howard Ulfelder Healing Garden is meant for relaxation and meditation; 2005; Healthcare; Architect: Cambridge Seven Associates; Landscape Architects: Halvorson Design Partnership; Boston, MA.

6) FOOD ON THE ROOF: SKYRISE URBAN AG In an era where society is increasingly questioning the distance produce travels from farm to table and its associated environmental costs, an emerging trend is locally grown vegetables – often from the roof directly overhead. At the small scale, homeowners and small businesses are using wasted roof space to create kitchen gardens that supply everything from herbs to tomatoes. On the larger scale, “sky farms” are being proposed on roofs and on bridges between buildings to grow vegetables hydroponically. See the potential for thousands of wasted, barren roofs to be converted into productive crops for private and community enjoyment.

Changi General Hospital34: Planting hydroponics on the rooftops provides food for the hospital and absorbs the heat from the roof, cooling the wards facing it; 1998; Healthcare; Design: Gregory Chow; Singapore.

Raffles City Shopping Centre35: Above the main Raffles City entrance, rooftop agriculture is established as a flower and garnishing "farm" for the complex.1980; Commercial; Architect: I M Pei; Singapore.

Trent University Vegetable Garden36: An intensive organic vegetable garden on the roof of the Environmental Sciences building provides 30 to 40 different crops of produce for school and local civic groups; the rooftop garden also serves as a test zone for tropospheric ozone; 1996; Educational; Designer: Professor Tom Hutchinson; Peterborough, Canada.

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel37: Luxury Hotel has 15 beds of herbs, including organic basil, parsley, sage, tarragon, chocolate mint, peppermint, spearmint, chives, and lemon balm, a single apple tree, marjoram hot peppers and cayenne pepper plants; 1998; Toronto, Canada.

Earthpledge Foundation Veggie Garden38: Rooftop garden for sustainable cooking classes taught by staff; 2002; MultiUse; Greenroof System: American Hydrotech; Designer: Leslie Hoffman; New York, NY.

5) PHYSICS DEFYING & CUTTING-EDGE APPLICATIONS Greenroof technology has evolved in leaps and bounds from the days of dark, damp, underground houses and on-site maintenance in the form of goats. Greenroofs can be coupled with photovoltaics to create a synergistic effect, and grids can be incorporated into structural designs to create greenroofs with a 45 degree slope and more. This next group of projects celebrates the technologies that have evolved over the last 30 years and looks at greenroof projects that incorporate the latest and greatest innovations. Feats of engineering marvels are explored as well as high and low-tech combinations of energy saving technologies with greenroofs.

California Academy of Sciences39: Planted roof on seven undulating domes; two have nearly 60 degree slopes; Current; Institutional; Ecological Consultant: Rana Creek; Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Chong Partners Architecture; Landscape Architecture: SWA Group; Waterproofing: American Hydrotech; San Francisco, CA.

Betonwerk Eisack (Concrete Factory)40: This building has a 70 degree slope on a cement factory in Italy, and is referred to locally as the "green skislope"; 2005; Commercial; Greenroof System: Optigrün; Klausen, Italy.

Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy41: An indoor tennis stadium is planted with turf at a 45 degree angle – mowed by a cable and pulley system rigged to a standard push lawnmower; 1994; Commercial; Architects: AndraultParat, Prouvé, Guvan architects; Paris, France.

Boston World Trade Center West Podium42: The greenroof was designed to resist 90 mph winds off the harbor; 2003; Commercial/Multi-Use; Kallmann McKinnel & Wood Architects; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; Boston, MA.

BedZed43: The Beddington Zero Energy Development is the first large-scale ‘carbon neutral’ community with extensive greenroofs, solar pv's, and wind funnels; 2001; Multi-Use; Bill Dunster architects ZEDfactory Ltd; Beddington, England, UK.


Cannon Beach Residence44: The home generates as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis; 2004; Residential; Architect: Nathan Goode; Cannon Beach, OR.

Hydrogen House45: The first U.S. green hydrogen house is earth sheltered; photovoltaic (solar electric) power will produce hydrogen from water to use for all fuels; 2005; Residential; Owner/Designer Mechanical Engineer: Bryan Beaulieu; Scottsdale, AZ.

4) GOVERNMENT AND BIG BOX RETAILERS AS BIG ENVIRONMENTALISTS Greenroofs provide an obvious means for advertising a company’s environmental conscientiousness or demonstrating a government agency’s commitment to the environment. Unlike other, more subtle, green building measures like low flush toilets or energy efficient light bulbs, most greenroofs are obvious, and designed to be seen. Indeed, greenroofs have emerged as a salient marketing tool for retailers and an environmental pledge from our government. Governments at all levels are leading by example, and some mega-companies are jumping on the eco-bandwagon and are beginning to go green.

Chicago City Hall46: First U.S. city hall greened, the result of Mayor Daley's city-wide greening initiative; 2000; Municipal; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; Architect: McDonough + Partners; Landscape Architect: Conservation Design Forum; Waterproofing: Sarnafil; Chicago, IL.

The Portland Building47: Significant architecture by Michael Graves now involves a modern geometric greenroof retrofit; Current; Municipal; Greenroof Design: macdonald environmental planning, p.c; Architect/Re-roofing: Carleton-Hart Architects; Portland, OR.

Marin County Jail48: A 110,000 sf correctional facility nestled in a hillside and located next to the Hall of Justice and Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright: 2004; Municipal; DMJM – Planning, Design, and Construction; San Rafael, CA.

Minneapolis Central Library49: The City of Minneapolis is the local favorite! 2005; Municipal; Landscape Architect: The Kestrel Design Group; Architect: Abraham and Associates; Greenroof System: Henry Company; Minneapolis, MN.


Target Stores in the Chicago area: Visible from many vantage points, Target decided to go green with greenroofs atop their South Loop Store50 (2004); West Addison51 – photo above (2004); and the McKinnley Store 52 (2005); Commercial; Greenroof System: Green Grid; Chicago, IL.

Starbucks in the Austin area: The Escarpment Village Starbucks53 is the first Starbucks to be greened (2005) followed by the Starbucks at Circle C Ranch54 - photo above (2006); Commercial; Greenroof System: Green Grid; Ecological Consultant: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Austin and Southwest Austin, TX.

Wal-Mart #540255: The largest big box retailer has the largest greenroof in the world currently being monitored; 2006; Commercial; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; Architect: BSW International; Chicago, IL.

3) COOL GREEN RESIDENCES: ORGANIC INTEGRATION OF MIND, BODY, & SOUL For years most greenroofs could only be found on commercial projects. One of the biggest trends to emerge recently has been the drive to incorporate greenroofs into residential projects. For all the talk of cutting edge applications and modernist design, there’s something to be said for constructing a project that fully integrates into its surroundings and provides very little visual impact. The beauty of greenroofs is that, by their very nature, they can blend with existing vegetation at the site. More and more frequently, designers are specifying greenroofs in ecologically sensitive areas or in places where the natural view, not the man-made architecture, takes precedence. The residential market is embracing greenroofs from modern interpretations of classic landscapes to full integration into the landscape to personal escapes into nature from the harsh city.

Taghkanic Residence56: A residence with upper glass pavilion built atop a concrete plinth bermed into a hill side; 2002; Residential; Architect: Thomas Phifer and Partners; Taghkanic, NY.

Reeve Residence57: A residence nestled into the cliff to blend with the scenery; 2002; Residential; Cutler Anderson Architects; Photo Source: Architecture Week; Lopez Island, WA.

Villa Saba58: A 5,400 sf modern sloping masterpiece in Tibilis, Georgia, of the former USSR; 2003; Residential; Greenroof System: ZinCo; Tibilis, Georgia.

The Kin Residence59: An ecological 800 sf architectural jewel; 2000 (Phase I); 2004 (Phase II); Residential; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; Wrightsville, PA.

West Village, NY, Private Residence60: An old-fashioned penthouse porch with flowering meadow is perched on a 6-story apartment building; 2006; Residential; Greenroof System: American Hydrotech, ZinCo; Architect: Lawrence Tobe; New York, NY.


328 Euclid61: Architect owners look out onto their roof from their bedroom with 3 different tiers of roof w/3 different microclimates of shade to full sun; 2005; Residential; Architects: Jana Levitt and Dane Goodman; Greenroof Design/Build: Gardens in the Sky; Toronto, Canada.

Riverfront Residence62: A stunning native desert greenroof in the American southwest; 2006; Residential; Architect: Bil Taylor Associates; Landscape Architect: Quetzalli Bartholomaei, Blue Mesa Studios; Waterproofing: Sarnafil; Tucson, AZ.

2) BIGGER IS BETTER – MEGA GREENROOFS Looking to differentiate your greenroof from other greenroofs? One obvious way is to make it the biggest greenroof on the block – the biggest sloped greenroof, the biggest greenroof at grade, or even the biggest proposed greenroof. Is bigger better? Not necessarily, but the ecological footprints of these structures are certainly lighter with living roofs. Bigger may not always be better, but it’s sure guaranteed to generate some publicity as well as (hopefully) a sense of responsibility to trend lighter upon the Earth.

Hemel Ski Centre63: Britain’s largest proposed greenroof is designed to cover an indoor ski area; Current: Commercial; Architect: B L Architecture & Design; Hemel Hempstead, England, UK.

McCormick Place Convention Center64: When completed in August, 2007, this was the largest modular greenroof in the world at 96,000 sf; 2007; Commercial; Greenroof System: Green Roof Blocks; Chicago, IL.

Aquascape Design Headquarters “Aqualand”65: The world’s largest sloping greenroof at 256,000 sf; 2005; Corporate; Architect: Terry Martin, Artisan Design Build; St. Charles, IL.

Howard Hughes Medical Center66: The Janelia Farm Research Campus will have 243,000 sf of roof meadows, three descending terraces and 19 elevated roof gardens; 2006; Commercial; Architect: Raphael Viñoly; Greenroof System: Roofscapes; Dulles, VA.

Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project67: When completed, the largest greenroof in Canada at 261, 360 sf; Current; Municipal; Architect and Model Courtesy of: LMN Architects; Ecological Consultant: Rana Creek Living Architecture; Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Ford River Rouge Plant68: 10 acre extensive greenroof on top of Ford Motor factory held the title of "World's Largest Green Roof" for a few years; 2003; Industrial; Architect: William McDonough + Partners; Greenroof System: Xero Flor; Dearborn, MI.


Logistikzentrum, Bondorf (Logistics Center)69: This 400,000 sf extensive greenroof in Bondorf on a Logistics Center was designed primarily as a nature roof and as a water retention roof; 1998; Commercial; Greenroof System: Optigrun; Bondorf, Germany.

Millennium Park70: A park that extends 24.5 acres (1,067,220 sf) over underground parking garages, it is the largest overstructure in the world; 2004; Municipal/Park; Landscape Architect: Terry Guen Design Associates, Inc.; Irrigation, Great Lawn and Turf Consultant: Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company; Chicago, IL.

Financial District Banco de Santander71: The world’s largest freestanding greenroof at 1,100,000 sf in a live, work, play environment in a suburb of Madrid; 2005; Commercial/ Multi-Use; Architect: Kevin Roche; Master Plan; Designer/ Greenroof Provider: Maria Jose Barrio, Vicom SL; Greenroof System: ZinCo; Boadella del Monte, Spain.

1) VISIONARY PROPOSED PROJECTS 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 be 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.

Literacy for Environmental Justice Living Classroom72: A flagship "living system" closed loop system project w/ integrated pv panels on the living roof, passive solar design, cutting edge water management systems, "living machine" to process blackwater and use greywater, native wetlands, all through education; Current; Educational; Rana Creek & Architect and Image Courtesy: Toby Long Design; San Francisco, CA.

Vancouver Olympic Village (Millennium Water)73: A proposed new complex to host athletes for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games with 50% green roof coverage - extensive and intensive greenroofs of 80,000+ sf will also include urban agriculture on the roof tops; Current; Multi-Residential Housing; Developer: Millennium Development Corporation; Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Khan Shatyry Entertainment Centre74. The entertainment center will house 100,000 square feet of public park, retail, and entertainment space. Developed as a response to harsh weather conditions, the soaring structure rises from a 200m elliptical green base; Proposed; Commercial; Architect: Foster + Partners; Astana, Kazakhstan.


Conceptual Rooftop Rice Paddies in Liuzhou, China75: The premier of China has said that if the country continues at its current pace it will lose twenty-five percent of its farmland by 2020 - this proposal incorporates unused rooftop space in China to create rice paddies for local farmers; Conceptual/ Proposed; Commercial/Multi-Use; Architect: William McDonough + Partners; Greenroof Consultant: Xero Flor; Liuzhou, China.

Songjiang Hotel76: A stunning, luxury five-star resort hotel set within a beautiful water-filled quarry close to Shanghai in China. The designers say, “Sustainability is integral to the design ranging from using green roofing for the structures above the ground level to geothermal energy extraction “; Current - Completed by 2010; Commercial; Architect: Atkins; Songjiang District, China.

And our favorite #1 project symbolizing the very best in innovative ecological design today which not only incorporates but embraces sustainable architectural elements is: The Tower of Tomorrow77: A Conceptual World Prototype: William McDonough says, "The building of the future will not just sit on a lot – it will breathe, sleep, and wake up in the morning.” And it will be beautiful: Fortune's Tower of Tomorrow prototype is designed for complete sustainability and healthy living, and greenroofs and living walls, among numerous other features. The integrated state-of-the-shelf urban tower was dubbed the "Tower of Tomorrow" by the editors of Fortune Magazine; Multi-Use; Conceptual Proposed; Architect: William McDonough + Partners; The World.

Conclusion The current architectural trend making greenroofs one form of “Chic Sustainability” is now firmly entrenched in green design, and promises to truly explode. Greenroofs are more than just the pretty or exciting face on the fifth façade of a building, and need to be considered as an ecological and economic work horse to substantiate their further development and consideration as meaningful, quantifiable infrastructure. But isn’t it awesome that they can also relate to us on a psychological, earthy, human plane, and appeal to us on aesthetical, creative, and even sensual levels? “Organic architecture,“ indeed.

1, “Wild Roofs: Current research into green roofs and biodiversity in London,” by Dusty Gedge (December 2003): The Greenroof Projects Database, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid,






7, “London, England, Sky Gardens ~ Travels in Landscape Architecture,” by Linda S. Velazquez (January 2004):
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