English Essay #3 [Green Roof]

English Essay #3 [Green Roof]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mary Todd

April 14, 2009

English 1020

Essay 3: Green Roof

Final Draft

Imagine walking to the Peck Hall building at Middle Tennessee State University. Someone familiar with this building would expect to see an old rusty building with little to no sign of life in sight. However, someone could walk up to the building and see beautiful flowers blossoming, hear birds chirping, and smell the wonderful scent of fresh roses from not only around the premises, but from also on top of the roof. This beautiful landscape would be the beginning of a new, clean, and healthier environment. If plants were to be grown on some of the rooftops on campus, then it would benefit the university economically, socially, and environmentally.

The process of growing plants on rooftops is called green roof. The history of Green Roof Technology states a lot of facts of green roof way before our time. Green roof started in Babylon in the 7th century B.C. (Rodriguez). Back then green roof was known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and it was a majestic structure built by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife Amyitis (Rodriguez). In Scandinavia, roofs were covered with sod that was stripped from surrounding grass meadows. This was done to insulate homes. Also, back then green roofs were regarded as luxurious home amenities. In the same year, Professor Hans Luz, a German Landscape Architect, proposed the use of green roofs as a means of improving the quality of the urban environment (Rodriguez). Also, prior to 1970, urban greening consisted of planting on pots on roofs, climbing vines for vertical faces of buildings, and underground garages covered with plants (Rodriguez). In 1977, the creation of the FFL, a German landscape and landscape construction organization had started the formal study of green roof technology and its applications, and with that being said this group is who we should thank for much of what we know about this technology today. Today, green roof technology is seen as an effective ecological approach towards urban design management. Green roofs would be very beneficial to the campus, to the students, and to the greater community if such process was held here at Middle Tennessee State University.

Firstly, green roofs could help out the university in many of ways economically. There could be an extensive green roof or an intensive green roof. The extensive green roof could consists of plants such as sedums and prairie flowers being utilized because they are low to the ground, will not be destroyed by nesting birds, require less maintenance, and can tolerate almost any kind of weather condition (Green Roof Installation). Green roof would help save the university a lot of money on roof membranes. Protection of roof membranes results in a longer material lifespan. It is estimated that green roofs will last up to twice as long as conventional roofs (About Green Roofs). With that being said, there would be a decrease in maintenance and savings in replacement costs. Also, green roofs would attract more people to join the university if they see how neat and unique the campus looks. The increase in students makes in increase in earnings through tuition to the university. Another way green roof benefits the campus economically is by food production. If someone was to grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables on the rooftops of the university, then it could save its kitchen a lot of money. For example, Fairmount Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver used to grow herbs, flowers, and vegetables on its accessible roof, saving its kitchen an estimated $30,000 a year in food costs (About Green Roofs). For these reasons, MTSU should participate in green roof on campus because it would help the university economically.

Secondly, green roof would also benefit the university socially in a few ways. If the campus would participate in the green roof process, then it would make more students closer to one another. The students would want to be more involved around the campus, and they would most defiantly need teamwork to get things done which in this case would build more friendships on campus. Green roof would also allow students to open up more with other students who are interested in the same things. Green roof would be very beneficial to the students if the MTSU administration made it as a general education course in college. Students would not only learn more about the process, but they would also learn how to make a garden. Students would also learn how green roof is not only beneficial to their health, but also all the ways in how it is beneficial to the campus. With that being said, students who are interested could take part and help out the university surroundings, but then also get rewarded for their hard work with a passing grade. For these reasons, MTSU should participate in green roof on campus because it would benefit the students and the university socially in many of ways.

Finally, green roof would help out MTSU environmentally in many different ways. On campus there are all kinds of environmental problems that need to be handled. With all these budget cuts and other issues being held at the university its kind of hard for MTSU administrative and faculty members to deal with it all. If the university was to participate in green roof, then they would not have to do a thing. For example, most hospitals and health clinic facilities utilize the therapeutic benefits of green roofs (Green Roof Installation). Most of these facilities use gardening as a way to enhance the healing process for patients. Also with that being said, the patient could also enjoy the comfort, fresh air, and landscape while restoring their health. The U.S. urban areas have environmental problems that green roof would be able to eliminate. For example, storm-water management, reduction of pollution, improved air quality, decreased noise pollution, and quality habitats for insects and birds due to less available green space on the ground. With all these problems solved it would be a much pleasing environment on campus to work and live. The university should be apart of such process, so that other universities might consider joining and this would make the world a much cleaner and neater place.

English Essay #3 [Green Roof]

In conclusion, hopefully there will be a future of green roofs in the United States. In Germany, it is estimated 12% of all flat-roofed buildings are covered with vegetation, a number that is increasing as the German green roof industry continues to grow 10 to 15% per year (Green Roof Installation). In Michigan and the rest of North America the concept of green roofs is just now being introduced. Some wonder will green roof ever catch on in the United States like they have in Europe, but with the lack of awareness the U.S. will never catch up. People should be more informed about this process, so that green roof will be the beginning of a new, clean, and healthier environment to not only the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, but to all campuses or businesses around the U.S. Different places should take part of this process, so that they would save a lot of money and help the environment out at the same time. Green roof would be very beneficial to a lot of places being that we are going through a recession and times have became hard for not only businesses, but also for schools. Green roof will be very beneficial to the campus economically, socially, and environmentally. It might take a long-term process for the green roof to be complete, but after its all done it will be worthwhile. More universities should look into this process because it does have intrinsic and extrinsic values and benefits. Green roof is just now being introduced to the United States, but it will also become more likely common in the future. For these reasons, I feel that MTSU should take part in green roof.

Works Cited

Rodriguez, Reden. 27 Sept. 2006 The History of Green Roof Technology. Ifenergy. 15 April. 2009 .

Michigan State University. 30 Aug. 2006 Green Roof Research Program. Department of Horticulture.15 April. 2009 .

Green Roof Installation. Great Lakes Water Institute. 15 April. 2009 .

About Green Roofs. 2000-2005. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. 15 April. 2009 .

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