Review of Benefits of green infrastructure


A long list of excellent arguments for green roofs exists. A coment, here as example comming from our member GRA:

Demonstrable (Australian) benefits of green roofs and green walls:

1. Saving significant fossil-fuel energy use through insulation (reduced energy use in cooling and heating). This can be from 7% to 8% in industry, to more than 25% in homes and offices.

2. Lower-priced solar energy development via cooler solar collection equipment (2% to 12% in Germany; up to 20% to 25% in Australia).

3. Greatly reduced storm-water management, especially via reducing peak loads. From 50% to 90% reduction of storm-water flow, depending on design.

4. Increased water use efficiency through building storage for rain-water, and recycling of grey water. Savings possible are still being calculated.

5. Reduced cost of food - via "food from the roof" using aquaponics technology. The cost reduction possible is 50% of current costs - through elimination of rising transport cost.

6. Reduced air pollution. This is through both the uptake of harmful airborne chemicals by plants, and in great reduction of transport energy use, and coal energy use in electricity generation.

7. Improved human health via both reduced transport pollution and via psychological effects.

8. Greatly reduced "heat island" effects in cities (where currently 50% of the world's population resides, and where 60% of the world's 2050 population is expected to reside.

9. Recycling of clean organic wastes in cities - to reduce harmful methane pollution, nitrous oxide pollution and to have valuable nutrients recycled for healthier urban food supply.a

10. Reduced noise penetration from outside sources - which is particularly valuable near airports, or close to transport corridors.

11. Reduced building penetration of electromagnetic pollution. Up to 93% reduction of external radiation has been advised.

There are more beneficial effects and advantages, but these will do for the moment. One potentially big benefit still being researched is a possible ANNUAL CARBON TAX OFFSET. There is a big need for the carbon tax issue to be fully discussed in terms of possible regular offsets allowable for green roof and green wall investments.

Geoff Wilson,
Founder, Green Roofs Australia Inc and Aquaponics Network Australia. Director of Communications, World Green Roof Infrastructure Network (based in Toronto, Canada).
32 David Road, Holland Park 4121, Queensland, Australia.
Phones: +61 (0)7 3411 4524 or +61 (0)412 622 779
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