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better city better life GREENROOFurban.COM

Angie Cheng

only A Small Percentage of City Roofs in the U.S. are Green.

not many people understand or appreciate green roofs


encourage more people to incorporate green roofs & increase demand of them.

My objective of my thesis is to encourage more proper to incorporate green roofing, increasing the demand of them. As I’ve discovered, the most common reason that discourages people from undertaking the planting of a green roof is the challenge of construction and engineering. Therefore, I think a good approach is make people living and working in cities know the countless values of green roofing and reduce the overly serious concerns. There are practical issues, but people need to realize that they can work on their own scale and still enjoy the benefits and pleasure that come naturally with the project.

wait...what is green roof? Green roofs or vegetated rooftops have been extensively used in northern Europe since the 1970s and are now gaining popularity in North America. Green roofs consist of waterproofing and drainage mats, a special growing media, and plants able to withstand extreme climates. They offer several real and potential benefits, including reduced run off, increased evapotranspiration, prolonged roof life, reduced roof temperature, decreased energy costs, and reduction of the urban heat island—the area of higher temperatures that exists around intensely developed and densely paved urban areas. Green roofs also help to meet aesthetic and landscaping requirements, and they can create additional living space if constructed to bear the weight of people and their outdoor activities.

Why green roof? Because of increasing population. Over the past hundred years, the global urban population has swelled from 15% to 50% of the total global population, which itself has increased from 1.5 to well over 6 billion. The future is going to look pretty urban with more and more people shifting to cities to the point that, after 28 years, we’re going to have two thirds of all the people in the world living in cities. Because the earth’s population keeps increasing, there is a need for increased densities in urban residential development, which could result in terrestrial green space being reduced or lost. Resource limitations and environmental degradation are becoming more apparent every day.

Establishing plant material on rooftops can also provide numerous ecological, economic, and owner benefits including stormwater management, energy conservation, mitigation of the urban heat island effect, increased longevity of roofing membranes, life expectancy of the roof, additional usable space, Building incentives, as well as providing a more aesthetically pleasing environment to work and live.

Technical benefits

Ecological benefits

Owner benefits

green roof types 1. Pitched Roof VS. Flat Roof Flat roofs are more difficult to install and maintain, with fewer options available for the long–lasting solutions offered for standard roofing. Drainage problems and a lack of adequate insulation only add to the challenge.



Need Special Solutions


Steep Pitched Green Roofs


Pitched Green Roofs


Flat Roofs

2. Extensive green roof VS. Intensive green roof For you to be easier to understand the different between these two type of roof, I would say one is pretty expensive, another one is a lot cheaper.

extensive green roof= thin grass carpet (soil depth <4 inches) Can be built on pitched/ flat roof

Low maintenance

No need irrigation


Can be built on flat roof

High maintenance

Regulary irrigation


intensive green roof= thick & heavy variety of plants (soil depth 6+ inches)

WHAT I'M FOCUSING ON So, the green roof which is covered with a thin grass carpet and the park like expensive green roof are two extreme different types. However, in between those two type of green roofs, there is a third choice.


semi-intensive green roof= small plants garden (soil depth 4--6 inches)

Periodically maintenance

Periodically irrigation






The semiâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;intensive green roof is a more complex extensive green roof system and allows for the inclusion of various perennials and small shrubs in the plant selection. This type of green roof is what I am going to focus on for my thesis topic. It is able to retain more storm water than an extensive system and provides the potential to host a richer ecology. It also provides the potential for a formal garden effect.



3 habits

Look at the everyday world for inspiration Daily engagement with the world everyday, and looking carefully at my surroundings can have a significant effect on my work. My thesis project’s subject is a growing issue in the world, many people have started promote the green roofs idea in many ways. I have to open my eyes and let what’s happening today lead me to inspiring observations and creative insights into the work of design.

Spend time with your client to build consensus and create shared goals. I will never have a lot of good information if I don’t talk to people who know green roofs very well. I will have to push myself to spend more time with my target audiences and professional people to let them point me in the right direction through conversations. Being well–connected with these people will be very helpful for my thesis development.

If you are a designer, design; if you are a manager, manage. I have to make the most effective use of my time. To design a workable App and live website, I will need to reach out for help as I’m not familiar with it. On the other hand, I am going to focus on what I am good at and do the best.


ogst diagram




Encourage more poeple to incorporate rooftop greening and Increase demand of green roofs.

Change Individual Habit


People will realize they can work on their own scale and still enjoy the benefits and pleasure come naturally from the project.

When people can see that a positive behavior is normal and that everyone is doing it, they are likely to jump on in and trust the idea will really work.

Create civic pride and community around green roofs.

Cooperation with other green roofs communities and organizations to attract more attentions.

Demonstrate benefits they can get from it. Break construction process down into manageable steps, so the road map is tangible and easy to navigate.


Create a social network that is devoted rooftop greening. Prove Valueâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;rewards for good behavior.


interactive Website

that tell countless values of green roofing which is closely relate to their life/job.

Encourages urban citizens to organize and act to improve their living environment.

Mobile APP

visual campaign/ outreach

The app will give users social interaction and mutual commitment to a worthy cause.

Send people a small digital/print package includes a few green roof manuals to promote the project and garner support.

Event The event will be hold in each community and will teach people basic knowledge and skills about green roofs, so people can learn from realâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;life experiences.

Materials matrix

books Book one is the book for tenants and homeowners. It’s going to focus on publicize the environment, health benefits that green roofs can provide. Book two is going to analysis cost and promote the great market benefitsthat property owners will be interested in.


I will design a mobile app that allows people to visually design their own green spaces. With this app, people are able to drag and overlay different ‘greens’ artwork onto photos of their own spaces/rooftops in order to visualize how their green roof could possibly look. Users are able to share their designs as well as rate the designs of others. They will also have the opportunity to bring to life their virtual green designs. They can either purchase or earn real plants as a reward for reaching certain milestones in ratings. People can learn from smallest scale–on the screen–to bigger scale. From virtual to physical.

Event They are able to meet people who have same interest, and professional people to share about the idea of green roof.

website A blog and later a full website are essential elements in not only explaining my project to the outside world, reaching out to people, and getting feedback , but also gives the project life after Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m done with school.

visual campaign

It will include a logo, book, Howâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;to Kit, brochures, posters, invitation cards and advertisements that will focus on the fun and simplicity of green roofing.

time line


ORGANIZATION International Green Roof Association | Green Roof Technology | Global Greens | World Green Infrastructure Network | Landscape Architecture Foundation | American Society of Landscape Architects | USGBC |

reading Landscape Architecture Magazine | Green America | Green Technology Research | Build It Green | Our Green Home | Greenroofs | Green Key Real Estate | Green Grid Roofs |

communities Friends of the Urban Forest | The Green MBA | The Understory | 綠建築家 | 蓋綠色的房子 |

Biography Born in May, 20, 1987, Kaohsiung,Taiwan. Graduated from University in year 2009 in landscape design department, BFA degree. Now continuing MFA study in Academy of Art University, graphic design department. As a little girl growing up in Taiwan, when I felt lonely or sad I would go out onto the family roof garden. The spicy red peppers that were my dad’s favorite hung on their vines like tiny lanterns and the fragrance of flowers filled the air. Surrounded by the flowers, the plants and the presence of nature, I felt safe and calm. It was a special place, a sanctuary for thought and relaxation. When my father had something important to say or discuss, we would go to the roof garden and there conversation seemed to flow better as if our thoughts and words had a deeper and wiser context. It was from these intangible but powerful feelings that my connection to the concept of greenroofs sprang.

Green Roof Project  

I'm Angie, an Academy of Art Graphic Design MFA Student (with a Landscape Design background) who is working on a thesis project about promot...

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