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Green Roof-A Case Study: Michael Van Valkeenburgh Associates' Design for the Headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects [Hardcover]

Christian Werthmann
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2007
The benefits of green roofs are many: longer roof lifespan, greater sound insulation, reduced heating and cooling system needs, and a cutback in storm water runoff. Green roofs decrease carbon dioxide and increase oxygen in cities, making them cooler in the process and reversing the so-called "urban heat island effect." In short, green roofs are the great green hope of many environmentalists, politicians, and architects interested in more efficient and environmentally aware buildings. From a design standpoint, however, there is less consensus. While some see the roof garden as a visual statement using plants, geometric lines, and sculptural elements, others believe concerns for sustainability should outweigh visual appeal. A green roof that combines aesthetics and mechanics has become the goal of many a landscape architect.To address this quandary, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) commissioned renowned landscape architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in collaboration with the Conservation Design Forum to design a 3,300-square-foot green roof garden for its Washington, D.C. headquarters. In Green Roof Gardens, author Christian Werthmann uses this detailed case study to explain the history, methodology, and design process of green roof garden construction, providing a rich source of inspiration and technical knowledge for anybody interested in this simple solution to many of the environmental challenges we face today.

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Green Roof-A Case Study: Michael Van Valkeenburgh Associates' Design for the Headquarters of the American Society of Landscape Architects + Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide
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About the Author

Christian Werthmann is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He is a former associate at Peter Walker and Partners.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The most revealing feature of this book is the author's glaring omission of what experts now refer to as the new 'failed housing economy,' which depends on housing stock pre-destined to fail, thereby requiring major repair/renovation/reconstruction/redevelopment within a period of five to 10 years. Govts worldwide have embraced this type of development, sacrificing consumers to keep the profitable (for some, including the author and his sponsors) real estate wheel grinding along its destructive course.

Notable examples include the leaky condo crisis in Vancouver, British Columbia and New Zealand's mirror-like weathertightness crisis. In places like California, construction failure (usually becuase of leaks) became so prevalent, the state enacted legislation to give contractors a chance to repair their brand new yet failed building before owners take them to court.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, developer and contractor sharpies, already the stuff of legend in the new failed housing economy, now appear as thick as ants at a picnic, anxious to exploit predictions of global warming and undiscriminating media reports of the new green/sustainability revolution. The question, then, is how to distinguish between fraudsters and legitimate, well-researched solutions?

Books like this one certainly offer no help. Yes, there are examples of champion-sounding projects in places like Germany and Switzerland, but what standards, procedures, technologies and skilled workers would ALSO be required to ensure successful implementation in other jurisdictions - especially those with as yet unresolved issues of epidemic building failure?
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great technical guide for clients and designers Jan. 27 2008
By toodogsus - Published on Amazon.com
This book is perfect for readers who already know that green roofs are good for our planet, but are looking for technical information on how to build one. Product and plant guidelines and the construction process are marvelously detailed. It's also generous with photos and diagrams. This particular green roof demonstrates that they can be more than just sedum in planters on a flat roof--green roofs can be a building amenity and enhance the viewshed for nearby buildings as well. The book is very well written. It should be noted that the author is a German landscape architect and Germany leads the world in green roof design. An excellent resource for developers, real estate executives, building owners, and designers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!! Jan. 23 2013
By nadadhorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thanks fot the good quality book, I really like the picture in the book also they got a good material!
5.0 out of 5 stars Green roofs passion Aug. 22 2011
By Yuliya Dimitrova-Ilieva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a landscape architecture student, I found that this book is a useful source in terms of learning more about green roof technology. The author represents in very well organized manner the entire process of the project and collaboration between designers, consultants, engineers and etc. Overall, this book is important for anyone who wants to find some historical information about the pioneers in this industry; plants used for the ASLA green roof, constructional processes and documents as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars GREEN ROOF DESIGN/BUILD July 30 2010
By R. Hindle - Published on Amazon.com
I use this book as a key text for my design/build course at University of Oregon [...]
It is very informative and user friendly.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Case Study and Greenroof Overview Jan. 12 2008
By Joshua F. Haddad - Published on Amazon.com
Exceptional text, supplemented with beautiful and informative graphics and diagrams. Very good book for anyone interested in Greenroofs.
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