In the UK we design green roofs (that is bio diverse, wildlife attracting, rainfall absorbing, planted (hence 'green') roofs for everything from school sand pit shelters to eco friendly garden sheds to corporate offices and apartment blocks. In NZ green roofs as a concept are slower to catch on...We are too focussed on the short term, profit based economies we can make to develop a site a cheaply as possible. Examples abound of such poor quality design and development.
Today I searched for examples of green roofs in New Zealand and found one at Massey University's Wellington campus - by Athfield architects. While I'm delighted that the built environment people are developing their skills in this area, where are the landscape professionals on this?
Green roofs offer insulation benefits to buildings, improving their BREAM ratings, and lower whole of life energy costs. While developers often complain that they cost (them) more to install, clients and Council love the environmental enhancements from bio-diverse planting attracting wildlife (birds and beneficial insects) the benefits of reduced storm water runoff, reduced energy consumption costs.
We need to move away from short term thinking around profit margins towards mid - long term profits through enhanced values and benefits of various 'green' eco-friendly sustainable development options. We have a choice.