Search articles from the Journal of Living Architecture

The Journal of Living Architecture (JLIV) is published exclusive here, on the Living Architecture Monitor website. The magazine will publish the abstract of each published JLIV manuscript in the quarterly issue of the LAM, with a link to the full paper here.

Current Issue

The soil additive Ascophyllum nodosum (Norwegian kelp) can increase drought tolerance of plants, and promote seed germination, yet there has been no published research testing this amendment on green roofs. Liquid A. nodosum extract in two volumes and a slow release fertilizer were tested in a pot culture experiment for annuals, perennial cultivars, and three native species. Kelp extract did not improve the germination percentage of any of these species. In drought conditions both on a green roof and in the greenhouse, kelp treatments increased plant biomass relative to controls for some species only; plant health and longevity were generally improved when kelp was applied as an amendment. Soil water content was higher in kelp treated pots compared to fertilizer treated pots, and higher than controls in kelp treated pots for some species. Application of this local renewable resource to green roof plants could help to improve plant and substrate health while improving drought tolerance of plants on green roofs. 

Extensive green roofs in Switzerland and the Netherlands are economically sustainable when considering the added energy savings, municipal incentives and storm water fee reductions. By combing surveys, interviews, and reviews of municipal regulations for fifteen projects the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) was calculated by discounting green roof cash flows over a 50 year time period to determine a Net Present Value (NPV). This research finds that an extensive green roof NPV in Switzerland costs 27% - 37% less than a conventional flat roof. Similarly in the Netherlands, the NPV of green roofs is determined to be 16% - 26% less than a conventional flat roof. Presented here is summary of the results and the explanation of local influences of municipal incentives.