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View Diary: Energy COOL:  Vertical Urban Gardening (47 comments)

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  •  Fascinating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    I detest reading how the GERMANS are ahead in greening roofs and promoting solar panel farms; the CHINESE the biggest in harvesting wind power; the JAPANESE taking more market share with their cost effective hybrid vehicles; and the FRENCH... well the French in something.  Will someone wake up and recognize that green is the new dollar?

    Have you ever met such a backward lot?  Our lawmakers and politicians, the most parochial, to be led solely by pocket change from yesteryear, dangled in front of them by corporate lobbyists.  

    Still, I wonder how to make rooftop gardening/greening viable for businesses.  What are the price points and  Incentives to make the enterprise worth it?  Looking for an economic argument from the building manager's standpoint.

    •  Green roofs are tough ... (0+ / 0-)

      within the current US economic structure.

      White roofs are no brainers (which makes one wonder why there are any traditional asphalt roofs even going up anymore), the payback is incredibly fast.

      Green roofs are tougher, from what I can tell, to fit into a private business model.

      • Initial investment higher
      • (Limited) continued maintenance that is higher, in near term, than traditional roof
      • Many values are benefits to the common that there is not direct financial benefit to building owner (reduced urban heat, improved air quality, stormwater improvements)

      And, well, many (most) businesses don't plan on holding onto installations for a long time and the longer payback period is difficult to get past the accountant/CFO.

      Now, if we can put things into a 30-year payback or so, the paybacks are quite serious:

      • Insulating value of roof
      • Potential for reduced stormwater charges
      • Longer life of roof meaning no replacement charge 12-20 years in

      But, there are companies seeing the benefits although, from what I can tell, the primary market space at this time is public infrastructure.  The public penetration could lead to greater private penetration.  In part because it would lower barriers -- tried to green roof part of my own home and had real problems in terms of trying to permit which lead to not doing it. If there were a lot of public roofs going green, then probably would have been able to do mine.

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