Welcome to the Living Architecture Monitor (LAM) website—North America's green roof and wall magazine. Not only is this the place to read the latest issue of the LAM every quarter, but where you can find past issues, view exclusive content not available in the magazine, and see the latest news in the world of living architecture—and more!
Read our current issue (Winter 2016—Business Case) above and watch out for our next issue (Spring 2017—Climate Change). Also, check out the Green Pages: 2015 Green Roof & Wall Directory.
How Roofs Can Play A Key Role In Sustainable Architecture
December 22, 2016- As the green and sustainable building trend moves into the mainstream, we can begin to evaluate the impact and roles that different parts of the building's envelope play on overall sustainability and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.
The result has been healthier, more productive buildings that last longer, consume far less energy and are in keeping with the City of Vancouver's initiative to reduce building energy consumption.
A building's roof is one of the structure's largest open surfaces. This Horizontal space is the most exposed to the outdoor elements and, therefore, has the best opportunity to significantly affect the sustainable performance of a building's architecture.
Sadly, in most cases, roofs are passive elements that are reduced to simply keeping out the rain. Yet, they have a wonderful opportunity to be a key contributor to a highly sustainable building.
"A Perfect Partnership" - Green Roofs and Photovoltaic Solar
Photvoltaic solar is a primary alternative to grid-based electrical power that comes from gas, coal-power, nuclear or hydroelectric generating plants. Most of the grid-based electrical power sources do have a significant carbon footprint, while PV solar is a clean energy source.
For PV solar to work well it needs access to direct sunlight. There is no better place to access that sunlight than on a rooftop. There are, however, two challenges with rooftop PV - heat and wind.
By adding a green roof under the PV solar array, an evapo-transpiration zone is created that keeps the PV panels cool and allows them to work at optimum levels - even on the warmest, sunny days. Recent rooftop tests by Zinco Canada have shown that PV solar located on a green roof consistently performed four per cent better than traditional rooftop mounted PV solar panels.