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    GSD Begins Green Roof Initiative

    By bryan boyer
    Apr 21, '06 2:20 PM EST

    Students in a course organized by Katrin Scholz-Barth recently installed a test patch of green roof on the top of the trays in Gund Hall. I believe that the intention is to cover the entire roof, but right now it's one column and one bay of green. Anyone in the class care to weigh in with more info? I think this is a project that even people outside the GSD will appreciate.




    I didn't take these pictures. They were borrowed from nettmp, our shared network drive. If they're yours please let me know so I can credit you.


    • samsonoio

      I will be starting at Harvard in the fall, and I am very curious about student and professor-lead initiatives into "enviro/sustinable/good" design. Is someone spearheading an effort there?

      Apr 21, 06 2:49 pm  · 
      bryan boyer

      The GSD Green Design student organization is lead by one of my classmates and it's pretty active. Among the most active student groups, actually. I don't know the specifics about the green roof... but I'm trying to find out.

      Apr 21, 06 2:53 pm  · 

      The GSD Green tudent group website is:

      Samsonio where you at the Open House? i asked Toshiko Mori this question and it seems like they are beginning to push strongly towards this area. She mentioned the work that Matthias Schuler is doing is the forefront of the field
      Being involved in this field I am excited to hear that so many opportunities are being opened.

      They also mentioned that in their own practices many faculty members were including these principles mentioning that Toshiko Mori is designing a carbon-neutral building in some school I can't remember the name of.

      Apr 21, 06 3:11 pm  · 
      Toshiko Mori is designing a carbon-neutral building in some school I can't remember the name of. Syracuse University Center for Excellence. press
      Apr 21, 06 3:29 pm  · 

      +q - yeah, I was there. I spoke with Michelle Addington about this, and I didn't get the best impression about studio/course options that deal with sustainable design. But, she did say there's a great student-lead initiative, with a specific student sort of leading the way. Bryan, perhaps she was speaking about your classmate?

      Apr 21, 06 4:01 pm  · 

      +q - I'm heavily involved in the field too, here in Manhattan. What are you working on presently? (Sorry to hijack the thread, Bryan.)

      Apr 21, 06 4:03 pm  · 

      Samsonio, I sent you an email, sorry for the momentary hijack Bryan.

      Apr 21, 06 4:09 pm  · 
      bryan boyer

      As a side note, the typical second-year HVAC course at Harvard has been replaced by a class with Matthais Schuler which focuses on building physics and understanding how air, light, and heat function in buildings with the implication that one can begin to design smarter, better systems. For anyone interested in green/sustainable issues without sacrificing design to the 'green religion' of hobbit hole architecture Transsolar's work is really interesting.

      Apr 21, 06 4:30 pm  · 

      Bryan did you take the class, if so what did you think about it? Have you been able to apply what you learned in studio?

      Apr 21, 06 4:42 pm  · 

      I'd be interested to see what will grow on the roof. It doesn't look like a deep planting bed. I know that a 'traditional' planting bed has to be 1-2 feet deep and weighs a lot when you factor in soil and water storage so they can't readily be adapted to existing buildings. Do you know what kinds of plants they are trying to grow? I bet if the whole thing had a mat of green on it, the terraced trays would look pretty cool. Fun project.

      Apr 21, 06 4:50 pm  · 

      Here's quite a good resource/non-profit which focuses primarily on Green Roofs.

      FYI - most green roofs are planted with something called sedum, which can planted in something as shallow as 2.5 inches. Imagine those mini cacti that never die when you forget to water them.

      Apr 21, 06 4:57 pm  · 
      bryan boyer

      I am in Schuler's class right now and it's actually co-taught with Toshiko Mori. There is a big emphasis on using our studio projects and the specified site as the basis of analysis. The first assignment was on sun, wind, and climate effects specific to our site in Boston. The second assignment asked us to look at acoustics and noise abatement since our site is near or above a highway. And the final is basically a proposal for environmental systems considerations in your studio project... so it's attempting to be very integrated.

      Apr 21, 06 5:02 pm  · 
      bryan boyer

      ...The course is a combination of lectures by Matthais and guest lectures from industry experts. It's great to be exposed to a very diverse range of ideas from advanced day lighting to CFD analysis of buildings, but it definitely relies on a bit of mental flexibility to apply the work to our own studio projects. I'd take a class like this any day instead of an HVAC lecture though.

      Apr 21, 06 5:07 pm  · 

      My undergrad (BArch) mechanical systems classes focussed pretty heavily on building systems integration and enviromental design. It was pretty fascinating stuff (luckily since they required like 3 full courses of it plus a studio component!). Glad to see that the traditional way of looking at HVAC is getting supplanted!!! I didn't realize the GSD got into the mechanics of things so much. I'd be interested to hear more about the specific projects you're asked to do, especially anything that impacts your studio explorations. Thanks for sharing these pics/ideas, Bryan.

      Apr 21, 06 11:15 pm  · 

      This sounds like a great idea, but how well is it being done? My friend who works there says that her desk is right under the green-roof and the sprinkler overrun is dripping onto her desk. Is that a common problem with green-roof retrofits?

      Apr 25, 07 11:14 am  · 

      the roof gardening is the toughest thing to do in life.but the roof garden concept is great.i also need to implement this type of gardening at my roof.but it seems very expensive.will you please let me know if there is any cheapest idea to do roof gardening.i am also searching for roof repairing and roof renovation and i got one of the good result if you want some information you can visit roof

      Apr 2, 09 4:50 am  · 

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