tungwaiyip.info

home

about me

links

Blog

< February 2009 >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 91011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728

past articles »

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

GAP green roof

The idea of green roof is attractive. In many buildings, roofs are wasted space cover with black asphalt. Why not turn it into something more useful by covering it with soil and grow vegetation on top of it? This will help reduce rain water runoff, urban heat island effect, air-conditioning cost as well as CO2 in the atmosphere.

One great example of green roof project is in the GAP building in San Bruno, California just south of San Francisco. (GAP has since moved out. Google/YouTube is the current tenant.) The office building has sloped roofs that are covered extensively with vegetation. I happen to work in the area and know about the building.

Can green roofs significantly improve the environment? One day I was glancing at an aerial image. I can't help but notice that GAP building's green roof covers only a tiny percentage of the land in San Bruno's office area, as you can see in the green circle I have marked below.

I went ahead and did a little study. I classified the area into four categories: 1) Buildings (red); 2) Natural Area (Green); 3) Parking lot (Yellow); 4) Roads (grey). For simplicity, some small amounts of landscaped areas are counted as parking lot.

I measured the proportion of area of each category as below

  • 17% Building
  • 10% Natural area
  • 55% Parking lot
  • 18% Road

In fact buildings only cover 1/6 of land in the area. Roads use as much land as the buildings. Parking lots occupy a staggering 55% of the land. That is over half of the land and three times as much area as the building themselves! Instead of green roof, perhaps what we really need are green parking lots!

Of course this is just one example taken from a suburban environment. And this is not to diminish the value of green design adopted by the GAP building. In fact you can easily see from the picture that GAP uses land far more efficiently that other nearby office complexes. This is just a clear example to me that by far the biggest ecological issue in a suburban commercial space is its extensive asphalt parking lot. And there is probably where designers should spend more effort in greening.

2009.02.14 [] - comments

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig freed by China arrive home (25 Sep 2021)

 

Meng Wanzhou: The PowerPoint that sparked an international row (24 Sep 2021)

 

Germany elections: Merkel backs 'bridge-builder' Laschet as successor (25 Sep 2021)

 

Foreign visas planned to ease UK lorry driver shortage (25 Sep 2021)

 

Afghanistan: Taliban hang bodies as warning in city of Herat, say reports (25 Sep 2021)

 

Afghanistan: Inside the prison staffed by former inmates released by the Taliban (24 Sep 2021)

 

Prince Andrew's lawyers accept he was served with US case papers (24 Sep 2021)

 

Music company buys NFT of 'Side-eyeing Chloe' meme (25 Sep 2021)

 

R. Kelly trial: A look at the key moments as jury deliberates (24 Sep 2021)

 

Quad countries vow to work for freedom in region (25 Sep 2021)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

13 Best Background Check Sites & Services: Search Criminal Records and Social Media Accounts Online (28 Jul 2021)

 

It pays to search for top-quality auto shop (6 Feb 2021)

 

Fired Boeing CEO is now working with Bay Area tractor startup (14 Dec 2020)

 

PG&E bills to rise over per year on average to fund wildfire risk reduction (5 Dec 2020)

 

Nasdaq seeks more diversity on boards of companies listed on exchange (2 Dec 2020)

 

Elizabeth Holmes Prosecutors Say Texts Show Theranos Beset With Problems (24 Nov 2020)

more »


Site feed Updated: 2021-Sep-21 07:00