Is what Chris Crockett, acting deputy commissioner of environmental services for the Water Department said in reference to the new emergence of green roofs in Philadelphia and other metropolitan cities. This new idea consists of installing roofs on various types of buildings in and around the city of Philadelphia in an effort to collect data on the effects of storm water and prevent the damage that occurs as a result of storm water runoff. “Storm water is a historic problem for Philadelphia because most of the city's underground pipes combine rainwater and sewage. During storms, the system becomes overwhelmed and water polluted with raw sewage and road dirt overflows into streams and basements.” Green roof construction includes removing the current roof and replaces it with slanted sheets of aluminum that allow for excess water to flow through the roof’s ecosystem. Next they layer fabric and barrier cloth and then soil is laid. They place the vegetation layer that is pre-grown and is made up of various types of sedum species and perennial plant life.

These roof tops are popping up all over. “Green roofs top sites including the main Philadelphia Free Library, the Peco building, the Friends Center, Drexel University dorms, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Penn Charter Performing Arts Center, the new Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, the Urban Outfitters corporate headquarters, and numerous private homes.” At St Joseph’s University researchers have installed a green roof on the science building and are tracking water absorption and temperature differentials among other effects that the roof tops can produce.

Again this is just one step towards a more efficient green world. Applying simple ideas to a great cause can lead people all over to make changes in their lifestyles that will help sustainability efforts.
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Jennifer Ulrich

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  1. I have been reading about this type of roofing and it reminds me of my history classes when we studied different cultures- many had the housing buit into moutains,hills etc -not only did it provide a place to grow but also a means of insulation. Who says the old ways are not effective!!

  2. Are they cost effective????