A few months back we installed a green roof on a Yoga Studio in Chinatown. Almost 100 hundred people came over two days to help us out. I’ve finally got around to putting the video together. Enjoy.
Community Green Roof on the Rise (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 09/09/01)
Roughly 30% of our city’s surface area is covered by rooftops. Green roofs can transform these empty areas into beautiful spaces – and reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings underneath in the process. But too often these solutions are seen as high tech and only applicable for mega projects like the new Convention Centre. But Projects In Place, a non-profit dedicated to helping communities engage in sustainable design projects is working with a variety of small businesses to transform their roof tops into living, breathing and contributing parts of the area’s emerging green economy.
One such project is Radha Yoga & Eatery, who are renovating their space with the help of a Green Building Grant from Vancity and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. Projects In Place assisted Radha with the design, and installation of the green roof.
On September 12th, anyone interested in assisting Projects In Place and students from BCIT’s Center For Architectural Technology install Radha’s green roof is welcome to stop-by and lend a hand. The involvement of the public is a key to the Projects In Place mission.
“The technology is great, but that isn’t our main focus”, says Bryce Gauthier, Director of Projects In Place. “We want people to experience sustainability in a hands-on way. We try to show raise the bar on their environmental aspirations a little, by showing them that these innovations aren’t as complicated as they might think.”
Complicated.” was what Tim Tewsley, the Project Co-ordinator for Radha Yoga & Eatery, feared when his design team first talked about putting a green roof on the restaurant.
“We didn’t think it was possible to build a green roof on top of this old building and almost gave up on the idea,” he said. “ But with help from Projects in Place and our structural engineer, we realized that the ultra-light sedum mats would work perfectly. We want our building to operate in line with our yoga values of taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions, and one way to do that is to move toward carbon neutrality. The green roof is a part of that.”
The sedum mats, supplied by Xero Flor Canada at a discounted rate, roll on the roof like carpet. The installation takes little time and the cost is reasonable.
Bryce feels the event – the Green Roof Raising – as he calls it, is the best part of the process. “We go up there with a few volunteers and my BCIT students, and in a just a few hours, we transform an unused space into something beautiful. People usually come down feeling pretty good about themselves.”