Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor
On The Roof With… black arts expert Tim Barrett, RRC, CDT, GRP. As part of our 20th Anniversary of publish the LAM we are interviewing experts like Tim, who has been working in the roofing industry for more than 60 years and is the recipient of multiple awards of excellence for his green roof project work. Two of his projects have been NRCA Gold Circle Award Winners.
LAM: Tim, you’ve long been an advocate for quality green roof and waterproofing systems, how do you think the rise of the green roof industry has impacted the roofing industry?
TB: For most of the past 170 years the roofing industry has been very price sensitive, driven by commodity products often produced from waste stream components.
The Green Roof (GR) movement continues to edge the roofing industry towards the value of higher performance products and standards. Green Roofs have also led to a growing awareness of the differentiation between damp proofing, weatherproofing and waterproofing, all and all very good things.
LAM: What do you think the greatest challenges are in terms of rapidly growing the green roof industry over the next 10 years? What is holding us back?
TB: I have been a green roof advocate for more than 20 years. 2 decades ago I believed the many environmental contributions green roofs offer would have provided the industry with at least a 30 per cent market share of low-slope urban roofs by 2020. As the ever-increasing recognition and need for sustainability was growing I continued to subscribe to the 30% vision and have continued to be disappointed. In the most basic evaluations of sustainability, green roofs provide respectable ROI and a big bang for the environmental buck. I think what is holding the market back is, ironically, the failure of owners to recognize the extensive environmental contributions GR make and unbelievably, how many don’t even know of the existence of vegetated roofs, which brings to mind the adage “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see”. Unfortunately, even Green Roofs for Healthy Cities can’t do it alone.