California; Green Roofs - Cooling Los Angeles: A Resource Guide - Flex Your Power

California; Green Roofs - Cooling Los Angeles: A Resource Guide - Flex Your Power
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Green Roofs - Cooling Los Angeles A Resource Guide Environmental Affairs Department City of Los Angeles 200 N. Spring Street., Suite 2005 Los Angeles, CA 90012 2006 Environmental Affairs Department The City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department (EAD), established in 1990, is the chief advisor to the City on environmental matters. It proactively brings together people and resources to educate and develop ways to improve the Los Angeles environment. By restoring habitats, creating innovative alternatives, assisting businesses and revitalizing communities, EAD makes LA a better place to live. Information Hotline: Web site: E-mail: Mail: (213) 978-0888 [email protected] City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department 200 N. Spring St., Room 2005 Los Angeles, CA 90012 CITY OF LOS ANGELES MAYOR Antonio R. Villaraigosa CONTROLLER Laura N. Chick CITY ATTORNEY Rocky Delgadillo CITY COUNCIL Ed Reyes First District Wendy Greuel Second District Dennis P. Zine Third District Tom LaBonge Fourth District Jack Weiss Fifth District Tony Cardenas Sixth District Alex Padilla Seventh District Bernard Parks Eighth District Jan Perry Ninth District Herb J. Wesson, Jr. Tenth District Bill Rosendahl Eleventh District Greig Smith Twelfth District Eric Garcetti, President Thirteenth District José Huizar Fourteenth District Janice Hahn Fifteenth District ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMISSION Wayde Hunter, Vice President Maria Armoudian Aline Bokde M. Teresa Villegas Misty Sanford ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT Detrich B. Allen, General Manager Gretchen Hardison, Director of Air Quality Division Melinda Bartlett, Director of Water & Natural Resources Division José Gutiérrez, Environmental Supervisor Karen Higgins, Environmental Supervisor TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface Page .................................................................................................................................. i I. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................I-1 What is a Green Roof?............................................................................................................I-1 What Are the Benefits of a Green Roof? ................................................................................I-1 Scope and Purpose of This Report..........................................................................................I-2 II. BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES ....................................................................................... II-1 Environmental Benefits ........................................................................................................ II-1 Incentive Programs ............................................................................................................... II-7 III. PLANNING FOR THE GREENROOF ......................................................................... III-1 Picking a Suitable Location ................................................................................................. III-1 Structural Requirements....................................................................................................... III-7 Permitting Requirements ..................................................................................................... III-8 Procedure .......................................................................................................................... III-11 Costs (Designing, Building, Maintaining) ......................................................................... III-14 Potential Funding Sources ................................................................................................. III-17 IV. DESIGNING THE GREENROOF ..................................................................................IV-1 Layout ............................................................................................................................ IV-1 Preparing the Roof ............................................................................................................... IV-2 Growth Medium................................................................................................................... IV-3 Choosing the Right Plants.................................................................................................... IV-5 Irrigation ............................................................................................................................ IV-9 V. GROWING AND MAINTAINING THE GREEN ROOF ............................................. V-1 Installation and Establishment .............................................................................................. V-1 Maintenance.......................................................................................................................... V-2 VI. QUANTIFYING BENEFITS............................................................................................VI-1 VII.ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ....................................................................................... VII-1 City of Los Angeles Contacts .............................................................................................VII-1 Green Roof Organizations ..................................................................................................VII-2 Research Groups .................................................................................................................VII-3 a City/State Government Green Roof Programs ...................................................................VII-4 Publications.........................................................................................................................VII-6 Other Useful Contacts ........................................................................................................VII-7 REFERENCES.......................................................................................................................... R-1 APPENDICES Appendix A: Landscape Watering Needs Worksheet TABLES Table III-1. Table III-2. Table III-3. Table III-4. Table IV-1. Table IV-2. Table V-1. Cost Comparison of a Green Roof versus a Conventional Roof, and a Retrofit versus a New Roof................................................................................ III-2 Annual Climate Summaries (1971-2000) for Burbank (Van Nuys City Hall) and L.A. Civic Center (Central Library). ....................... III-6 Example of Green Roofs Availability as a function of Weight ......................... III-8 Estimated Total Annualized Cost Ranges per Square Foot of an Extensive Green Roof Installation in Los Angeles. .................................... III-17 FLL Recommended Soil Properties of an Extensive Green Roof. .................... IV-4 Sun and Drought Tolerant Plan Species Potentially Suitable For Green Roof Applications in the Los Angeles Area. .................................. IV-7 Planting Methods for Green Roofs. .................................................................... V-1 FIGURES Figure II-1. Figure II-2. Figure III-1. Figure III-2. Figure III-3. Figure III-4. Figure III-5. Figure III-6. Figure IV-1. Figure IV-2. Figure IV-3. Figure IV-4. Figure IV-5. Figure IV-6. Figure IV-7. Figure IV-8. Measured values of rainfall and runoff rates for a conventional and a green roof. Source: PSCGRR, 2004........................................................ II-4 Peak Load for Southern California Edison in 1988. Source: HIG.................... II-6 Van Nuys City Hall (top center of image). Source: TerraServer, 2004........... III-4 Central Library (bottom center of image). Source: TerraServer, 2004............ III-6 Procedure for a Public Agency to Implement a Green Roof ........................... III-12 Procedure for a Private Entity to Implement a Green Roof............................. III-13 Roof of Chicago City Hall ............................................................................... III-14 Section of Multnomah County Building Roof................................................. III-14 Typical extensive green roof structure (source: BES, 2004). ........................... IV-2 Green Roof of Premier Automotive Group in Irvine, CA. ................................ IV-6 Green Roof of GAP Inc. in San Bruno, CA....................................................... IV-6 Chalk Dudleya. .................................................................................................. IV-6 Ice Plant ............................................................................................................. IV-8 October Daphne ................................................................................................. IV-8 Purple Stonecrop................................................................................................ IV-8 Brown Sedge...................................................................................................... IV-8 b PREFACE This resource guide has been prepared in partial response to Los Angeles City Council motion CF#04-0074, Incorporate Rooftop Green Spaces as an Energy Efficiency Mechanism. This motion directed the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) to lead the formation of a City task force for the purpose of developing and implementing “…a process, program, or procedure that will require City facilities to incorporate rooftop green spaces as an energy efficiency mechanism…” To support the Green Roof Task Force, the EAD researched green roof options and assembled information on numerous case studies and guideline development efforts in North America, Europe, and Japan. EAD subsequently utilized consultant assistance to expand and summarize the available research, determine its applicability to potential projects in the Los Angeles area, and incorporate practical and procedural information from the Task Force members into a plan for the development of green roofs in the City of Los Angeles. This document is intended to serve as a reference guide to facilitate green roof development by the City as well as other public entities and private building owners within Los Angeles. DISCLAIMER This Resource Guide is intended as an introduction to green roofs. Any information contained here is general in nature and is not intended to take the place of professional assistance. This Guide is not intended as an endorsement by the City of Los Angeles of any specific green roof design, construction or maintenance techniques or entities. The City of Los Angeles assumes no liability for the use of information included in this Resource Guide. i I. Introduction WHAT IS A GREEN ROOF? We use the term “green roof” to refer to a permanent roof-top planting system that allows for the sustained presence of live plants covering a significant portion of a building’s roof. As described in more detail later in this report, green roofs can provide a range of environmental, economic, and social benefits. Green roofs have been widely adopted for many years in some countries (most notably Germany) but are a relatively new concept in the United States. Green roofs fall into one of two primary types: intensive and extensive. Intensive roofs are essentially conventional gardens that happen to be located on the roof of a building. They may include moderate sized trees, shrubs, ornamentals and even crops planted in at least 12 inches (30 cm) of soil and are designed for traditional garden uses including recreation, relaxation and food production. Intensive green roofs add a considerable weight load (typically from 80 to 150 lb/ft2 or 391 to 732 kg/m2) to a structure and usually require intensive maintenance. As such, they are designed to be routinely accessible in keeping with their intended use (Scholz-Barth, 2001) and may only cover a small fraction of the roof surface. Extensive green roofs, on the other hand, are not meant to be accessible except for occasional maintenance. Extensive green roofs consist of a blanket of low vegetation planted in just a few inches of a specialized, lightweight growing medium that covers a considerable portion of a roof. Extensive green roofs are primarily designed to achieve an array of environmental benefits as discussed below. While many of the benefits of extensive green roofs apply to intensive green roofs as well, extensive roofs are strictly designed with these benefits in mind, while intensive roofs are generally built for other reasons. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A GREEN ROOF? Green roofs provide a host of potential benefits to building owners and the surrounding community. During warm weather, green roofs are cooler than conventional roof surfaces, thus helping to reduce energy consumption for air conditioning and mitigating the urban heat island effect which produces higher temperatures in core urban areas (where most surfaces are covered by concrete and pavement) than in surrounding, less developed areas. Like other forms of vegetation, green roofs also help filter pollutants such as fine particulate matter and toxics gases from the air and their cooling effect can help reduce ozone pollution (smog). Green roofs also help prevent water pollution by filtering polluted runoff and greatly reducing the total amount of runoff that reaches the storm sewer system. Other benefits of green roofs include: • • Increased thermal insulation of the roof, thus promoting further energy savings for heating and cooling. Green roofs shield the water-proof roofing membrane from the elements, thus greatly extending membrane life and generating potential savings on reroofing costs. I-1 • • • • • Increased sound absorption resulting in less reflection of noise into the surrounding area and less penetration of noise into the building. Creation of additional natural habitat for birds and insects in urban areas. Some green roofs may also be suitable for helping threatened indigenous species. Intensive green roofs offer potential for organic food production and provide a social gathering place. Aesthetic benefits of adding additional “green” area in an urban environment. Accessible green roofs (generally only of the intensive variety) can provide recreational benefits and amenity space without using up valuable property space. In recognition of these many valuable benefits of green roofs, some cities in the U.S. have developed incentive programs to promote both the retrofitting of green roofs on existing buildings and the use of green roof designs for new construction. Most common are financial incentives tied into the reduction in storm water runoff from green roofs. In addition, the environmental benefits of green roofs have been recognized in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. Building designs incorporating a green roof covering at least 50% of the roof area can earn one LEED rating point for urban heat island reduction and one point for storm water management. SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT This report is intended to provide the reader with an introduction to basic green roof concepts: what they are, how they are built and what benefits they provide. This report is designed to serve as a useful starting point for anyone interested in developing and evaluating a green roof installation in Los Angeles and to help facilitate the development of a green roof pilot project by the City of Los Angeles. Once an interested party has selected a suitable site, the roof design, installation, maintenance, and monitoring can be conducted by a suitable team of engineers, landscape architects and other professionals using information from this report and the sources cited herein. Information provided in this report focuses primarily on extensive green roofs. While much of the discussion here is also applicable to intensive roofs, the emphasis on environmental benefits and the fact that most roofs are not designed for daily access by building occupants (thus precluding development of an intensive green roof) dictates our focus on extensive green roofs. Benefits of green roofs are described in detail in Section II: Benefits and Incentives. Green roof incentive programs that have been adopted by some cities in the U.S. are also described in Section II, together with the Los Angeles LEED certification program for City funded projects. Section III: Planning for the Green Roof provides information on identifying a suitable location for a green roof project, structural requirements, permitting and applicable building and fire code provisions in Los Angeles, and a comparison of typical cost ranges for green roofs vs. conventional roofs. Also discussed in Section III are potential green roof project funding opportunities via state and federal grant programs. Information on green roof design is provided in Section IV: Designing the I-2 Green Roof. This section covers preparation of the roof surface, selection of a growing medium for the plants, selecting suitable plant species for the roof, and irrigation requirements. Section V: Growing and Maintaining the Green Roof provides information on proper maintenance procedures. An important element of a successful pilot program is a convincing demonstration of the beneficial environmental, economic, and social impacts of the green roof on the urban environment. Section VI: Quantifying the Benefits briefly discusses this topic. Finally, Section VII: Additional Resources provides contact information for selected City departments, as well as green roof and building/landscape trade organizations, programs, and publications that can be consulted for further information. I-3 II. BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS The environmental benefits for which green roofs have received the most attention are improvements in air quality, storm water runoff management, and energy efficiency. These benefits are closely interrelated as discussed in more detail below. Other benefits of green roofs include longer roof life, habitat creation, sound absorption, and improved aesthetics. Each of these green roof benefits are discussed in more detail below. Urban Heat Island Reduction and Associated Air Quality Benefits Over the past 70 years, as the City of Los Angeles has grown, temperatures in the city have increased. It has been reported that the high temperature in Los Angeles has shown a steady increase from 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 C) in 1937 to 105°F (40 C) in the 1990s (HIG, 2000). This trend of increasing temperatures with increasing urbanization is commonly referred to as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. Scientists believe that a significant cause of this effect is the replacement of areas covered by vegetation with dark colored building materials such as those commonly used on roads and roofs. These building materials absorb much of the sun’s energy and become very warm, thus contributing to the UHI effect. Replacing dark roof surfaces with green roofs can help reverse this trend. There are several ways in which green roofs act to reduce the Urban Heat Island effect. A dark colored roof will absorb far more of the sun’s energy than a green roof. That energy will then radiate from the dark roof as heat. Results from the Chicago City Hall green roof have shown the summer afternoon surface temperature on an adjacent black tar roof to be as much as 50° F (28 C) hotter than the temperature on the City Hall’s green roof. Even a nearby light colored roof had a peak temperature 11° F (6 C) higher than that of the green roof (City of Chicago, 2001). A green roof can attain an even lower surface temperature than a light colored roof due to the cooling provided by the plants’ use of water via a process referred to as evapotranspiration. Depending on the type of plant, up to 99.9% of the water drawn up through the roots may be transpired through the leaves (CSU, 2002). Heat energy is drawn from the surrounding air to convert that water to water vapor, which produces a cooling effect. The evapotranspiration of 40 gallons (150 liters) of water (about what is transpired by a medium, properly watered tree in one day) would provide enough cooling to offset the heat produced by one hundred 100-watt lamps, burning eight hours per day (Rosenfeld et al, 1997). The amount of cooling a green roof provides through evapotranspiration will depend greatly on the climate and on the design and management of the green roof. Cooling via evapotranspiration is directly related to the quantity of water delivered to the green roof. In Los Angeles, where the average annual precipitation is 15” (38 cm) (WRCC, 2004), II-1 rainfall would supply an average of between nine and ten gallons per square foot of roof space annually (370 to 410 liters per square meters annually). Most of this precipitation occurs during the cooler weather months (November through March). Thus if cooling were to be provided by evapotranspiration during the summer, the water would need to be supplied by irrigation. On many green roofs, it will be most practical to install drought resistant plants to minimize irrigation requirements and ensure healthy plants. Though such green roofs will provide less evaporative cooling, they will still provide cooling, thanks to decreased absorption of sunlight and the increased thermal insulation from plants and growing media. Other water management options include using gray water for irrigation or storing runoff occurring during heavy precipitation periods for later use. These options are discussed in more detail in Section IV. Elevated temperatures contribute to poor air quality. A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group found that increasing the reflectivity of manmade surfaces and adding vegetation over just 15 percent of the convertible area in the Los Angeles Basin would reduce summer temperatures by 6 degrees Fahrenheit (3 C). This group further estimated that, due to the dependence of smog formation on temperature, ozone (the chief component of smog) would be reduced by about 10% (HIG, 2000). Temperature reductions have the added benefit of decreasing energy demand, as less energy is needed for air conditioning. This leads to further improvements in air quality by reducing the burning of fossil fuels at power plants and thus lowering emissions.1 A study conducted for the City of Chicago found that greening all the City’s rooftops would cut peak energy demand by 720 Megawatts (Velasquez, 2004). The Heat Island Group estimates that the 5 to 9 degree (3 to 5 C) possible reduction of the Urban Heat Island would save Los Angeles ½ to 1 Gigawatt in peak power (HIG, 2000). Aside from the air quality benefits associated with reducing the urban heat island, green roofs filter particulate matter from the air and absorb greenhouse gases. Though little research has been done to quantify the air filtration capacity of green roofs, by one estimate 1 (one) square meter of grass roof can remove approximately .22 lb/year (0.1 kg/year) of airborne particulates (GRHC, 2002). Gasoline fueled passenger vehicles typically produce on the order of 2.5x10-5 lb (.01 g) of particulate matter per mile of travel.2 Assuming 10,000 miles are driven by a vehicle in a year, that’s .22 lb (0.1 kg) of particulate matter per year. Thus, while it is one of the smaller benefits of green roofs, one square meter of green roof could offset the annual particulate matter emissions of one car. The benefit of green house gas sequestration by a green roof is also difficult to quantify. However, as the City of Los Angeles is in the process of updating the City’s Climate See Stoeckenius et al. (2001) for a more detailed discussion of the interaction between the urban heat island and air quality in Los Angeles. 2 Based on a typical estimate obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MOBILE6 vehicle emission factor model. 1 II-2 Action Plan (C.A.P.), originally issued in March 2001, it is worth noting that green roof plants will act as a greenhouse gas sink. The practice of planting trees to offset carbon emissions has gained wide acceptance. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a total of 32 urban forestry projects implemented in 2002. An estimated total of 15,904 tons (14,428 metric tons) of carbon dioxide has been sequestered by these projects. The plants on an extensive green roof act on a smaller scale than do the trees used in these projects. However, the EIA does cite one project using prairie grasses, which probably have a more comparable carbon sequestration capacity, as having sequestered close to 770 tons (700 metric tons) of carbon in 2002. Unfortunately, the area covered by the project was not cited, so this result can’t be applied to estimate the potential sequestration capacity of a roof-sized area (EIA, 2004). Water Quality Stormwater management has become a pressing issue for many cities. As urban development continues, more and more of the city is covered by impervious surfaces (streets, buildings) that do not retain precipitation and thus produce greater and greater volumes of polluted runoff. The negative consequences of stormwater contaminated with trash, oil, and other toxins entering natural bodies of water are well established. Title IV of the Clean Water Act states that large cities must obtain a permit for stormwater discharges and develop procedures to mitigate impacts on water quality. The City of Los Angeles is no exception. On a rainy day, up to 10 billion gallons (38 billion liters) of water flows off the rooftops and streets of L.A. County and into the storm drain system, carrying with it everything from heavy metals to paint thinner (LA SWP, 2004). This water eventually arrives at Los Angeles area bays and beaches, making coastal waters unsafe for swimming or fishing and damaging local marine ecosystems. The City of Los Angeles must undertake a number of mitigating measures in order to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, which applies countywide, and was issued to the County of Los Angeles. Other cities have also identified green roofs as a measure for reducing storm water runoff. The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services has found that a green roof captures and evaporates ranges between 10 and 100 percent of precipitation (BES, 2004), with individual values dependent upon the design of the roof and the nature of the precipitation event. Different growing media have different water capacities, depending upon their depth and texture. Generally speaking, soil with fine particles and greater depth will have a greater water capacity (NebGuide, 1996). However, the growing media used for extensive green roofs is specially engineered to be lightweight and relatively shallow, while retaining the ability to support plant growth. Roofscapes Inc. reports that a typical green roof with just three inches of growing media can be designed to reduce annual runoff by more than 50 percent (Roofscapes Inc., 2002). The volume of a precipitation event that is captured by the green roof is only partially dependent on the design of the green roof. Any green roof will, after a certain quantity of rainfall, become saturated and incapable of retaining more water. To deal with this II-3 eventuality, many systems include a cistern which captures the excess precipitation as it leaves the roof and stores it for irrigation during prolonged dry periods. Some of the water that is captured by the roof will be used for plant growth; even more will be returned to the air by direct evaporation or evapotranspiration; and finally a portion of it will slowly percolate through the soil and exit the roof as runoff. But in addition to the quantity of runoff from a green roof, there are several important differences in the timing and quality of runoff that results from a green roof, as compared to a conventional roof. The rainfall that is not captured by a green roof will be released over a longer period of time than the runoff from immediately after the rainfall event, and with a flowrate per unit surface area nearly equal to that of the precipitation rate. In contrast, the runoff from a green roof occurs over a period of hours following the rainfall, and it never reaches the high flowrates of the conventional roof. This slowing of the runoff lowers the force of the stormwater, which in turn reduces its ability to carry off trash and lessens the strain on the storm drain system. The runoff that slowly seeps through the green roof media tends to be of much higher quality than the runoff from a conventional roof. Runoff from a green roof is of a significantly lower temperature than that from a conventional roof. This is important due to the disruption that warm stormwater can cause in the ecosystems of streams, rivers, and the ocean. Also, it has been estimated that up to 30 percent of the nitrogen and phosphorus contained in runoff from urban areas originates in the dust that accumulates on rooftops and other surfaces. The green roof acts as a filter, screening out this contamination (Miller, 2003). Figure II-1. Measured values of rainfall and runoff rates for a conventional and green roof. Source: PSCGRR, 2004. Reductions in stormwater volume and improvements in stormwater quality that can be achieved have been a tremendous motivating force in the development of green roofs in cities from Berlin, Germany to Portland, OR. Some cities have subsidized or even II-4 mandated the installation of green roofs to improve stormwater management. The multiple benefits that can be achieved, and the relatively low cost when compared to costly stormwater management infrastructure projects, make green roofs an appealing option for stormwater management plans. Energy Efficiency Potential energy savings associated with green roofs have already been discussed above in terms of controlling the urban heat island effect for air quality benefits. But the potential energy reduced cooling load would be particularly advantageous in Los Angeles, given the importance of air conditioning as a fraction of total energy consumption and recent concerns about generating capacity. Direct savings in energy costs from installing a green roof are also one of the factors that offset the cost of installation. A green roof keeps an individual building cool in several ways. First, less of the sun’s energy goes to heating up the roof of the building. The plants reflect some sunlight and absorb the rest, but they do not radiate the absorbed energy in the form of heat to the extent that conventional rooftops do. A conventional rooftop reradiates some of the sun’s energy it absorbs back into the air, warming the building’s surroundings, and radiates some of the absorbed energy into the building itself. Both of these heating pathways have been shown to increase demand for energy for cooling. Another way in which a green roof can provide energy savings is via increased insulation. A green roof provides an additional barrier between the building’s interior and the hot (or cold) environment. In this way it acts much like conventional insulation materials. But in addition to the mere value of its bulk, a green roof effectively shields the building’s structural surface from the wind by trapping a layer of still air over the roof. Still air forms an effective thermal barrier on the surface of a building; as opposed to moving air, which greatly increases the transfer of heat from the surrounding environment into the building (or draws warmth from the building on cool days). Wind can decrease the energy efficiency of a building by 50 percent (Peck et al, 1999). Thus by protecting the surface of the building from the surrounding environment, the green roof helps to maintain the temperature differential between the interior and exterior of the building. In contrast to the energy savings mechanisms (described above) that relate to protecting the building from the environment, the final way in which a green roof saves energy on hot days is by cooling the environment around the building. The cooling effect of evapotranspiration was discussed in detail in the previous section on the urban heat island.3 One study has estimated the direct savings from the combined mechanisms is a 50 percent savings on air conditioning for the top story of the building, but no other studies have been conducted comparing the relative importance of the various combined mechanisms that allow green roofs to help keep buildings cool on hot days (Velasquez, 3 Cooling via evapotranspiration is minimal during cold weather. II-5 2004). Actual energy saving for a particular building may be affected by the size of the roof compared to the height of the building. More than just benefiting the individual property owner, the increased energy efficiency offered by green roofs serves the entire community. Modeling by the Heat Island Group has indicated that by adding vegetation and lightening roof and road surfaces in just 15 percent of the possible areas of the Los Angeles Basin, summer temperatures could be reduced by 6 degrees Fahrenheit (3 C) (HIG, 1999). Based on the relationship between temperature and energy use shown in Figure II-2, this would translate into upwards of ½ Gigawatt less peak power, worth more than $100,000 per hour (HIG, 1999). Figure II-2. Peak Load for Southern California Edison in 1988. Source: HIG (1999). Additional Benefits There are some other very practical additional benefits associated with green roofs: Green roofs have proven to be an effective form of noise reduction. Tests have indicated that 5 inches of growing medium can reduce noise by 40 Db (Peck et al, 2001). The green roof at GAP Inc. Headquarters in San Bruno, CA is estimated to attenuate sound transmission by up to 50 Db. This is an important consideration given that the building is located just a couple miles from San Francisco International Airport. In Germany, where green roofs are relatively common, the Frankfurt International Airport has installed green roofs on buildings below the approach flight path to mitigate the impact of an airport expansion project (Roofscapes Inc., 2002c). In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration classifies average noise levels above 65 dB as “significant”; this designation is one factor considered in providing federal funds for noise mitigation projects (FAA, 2004). Noise from aircraft operations can easily exceed this level: take- off noise of a Boeing 747 measured at ground level directly under the aircraft 4 miles (6500 m) from the start of the take-off roll can reach 100 dBA (FAA, 2002). For buildings located near airports, especially those with limited alternatives for II-6 noise reduction technologies (e.g. those with no attic space), a green roof offers a potential solution to the problem of reducing aircraft noise. Green roofs also offer a greatly extended lifespan over that of a conventional roof. Where the membrane of a conventional roof is more exposed to the elements and thus wears relatively quickly, the membrane of a green roof is shielded by a protective layer of plants and growing media. A green roof can easily last 35 to 40 years, whereas a conventional roof will only last 15 to 20. Having to replace the roof only about half as often is not only more convenient, it also reduces the quantity of roofing materials that need be disposed of and equates to substantial savings that represent one of the most important offsets of the higher initial cost of a green roof. And finally, less quantifiable but no less important benefits of green roofs are those related to habitat, both animal and human. Green roofs can be designed as a stepping stone through the urban environment for birds and insects or as a sanctuary for certain plant or animal species. The Toronto City Hall Demonstration Project provides two distinct sanctuaries. It includes a black oak prairie ecosystem and a separate native butterfly plot (GRHC, 2002). Green roofs also improve the human environment. Most would agree that the view of a green roof is much more aesthetically pleasing than that of a conventional roof. In some cases, green roofs have been used to blend a building into its environment, such as the GAP Headquarters’ roof which features native grasses that help it blend into the surrounding hills. In a more urban environment, green roofs are more likely to offer relief from the surroundings, providing green interludes in a landscape dominated by concrete. INCENTIVE PROGRAMS Several existing or potential future programs add to the attractiveness of installing green roofs in Los Angeles. In all likelihood, as the image of a green city becomes increasingly politically and economically appealing, and as the penalties in energy expenses and noncompliance with environmental regulations for not being green increase, the list of incentives will grow. The major existing incentive for the City of Los Angeles to add green roofs is achieving LEED certification. Existing Incentives Effective July 1, 2002, all City of Los Angeles building projects 7,500 square feet (700 square meters) or larger are required to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ‘Certified’ standards (Council File 02-0182). A number of LEED certified City buildings have already been designed, including police and fire stations, the Lakeview Terrace branch library (platinum certification), a teaching center, and an animal services center (Weintraub, 2003). LEED certification is awarded based on a point system that gives a building points for numerous different conservation measures (26 points achieves certification). Among the possible measures are stormwater management, the use of landscaping and exterior design to reduce heat islands, II-7 optimization of energy performance, and improving thermal comfort (US GBC, 2001). One or more of these measures could be met or partially met with the installation of a green roof. One green roofs design guide indicates that 50 percent or greater coverage of the roof by a green roof can earn one point for reducing heat islands and that a green roof can contribute to a point for stormwater management (Oberlander et al, 2002). Indeed, the Premier Automotive Group headquarters in Irvine, CA was awarded a least one LEED point for its extensive green roof, thus contributing to its achievement of LEED certification (US GBC, 2003). Thus far, none of the City’s LEED building designs have included a green roof, although a constituent services center currently being designed for Council District 9 will incorporate rooftop plantings. Green roofs could be a valuable component of future designs. Potential Future Incentives In acknowledging the stormwater retention benefits of green roofs, some cities have granted runoff charge reductions and/or increased building size to lot area ratios to buildings with green roofs. One example is the City of Portland, Oregon, which added the installation of a green roof, or an “ecoroof” (a term widely used in Portland) as a floor area ratio bonus option in 2001. Under this condition, a developer is allowed one or three square feet of bonus per square foot of green roof for a green roof that covers 30+ percent or 60+ percent of the roof, respectively. In addition, the City of Portland will offer property owners a reduction in their stormwater drainage fee if they install a green roof. (Liptan, 2004). Like Portland, the City of Los Angeles has implemented a stormwater runoff charge to offset the costs of building infrastructure to comply with water quality regulations. The annual fee is determined by the amount of runoff from each property and runs about $24 per equivalent dwelling unit. However, it is quite possible that this charge will be increased in the future. The need to install infrastructure to comply with regulations is surpassing the funds generated from the current stormwater charge (City of LA, 2003). A potential future incentive for developers could include a reduced stormwater charge for buildings with green roofs, founded on the stormwater reduction benefits they provide. The City of Los Angeles is currently updating its Energy Climate Action Plan (C.A.P.), first issued in March of 2001.The C.A.P. estimates the CO2 emissions from City of Los Angeles government operations and sets forth mitigation measures to reduce these emissions (LA EAD, 2001). Given their value in reducing energy consumption and hence the burning of fossil fuels, and their potential as a carbon sink, green roofs could be considered for inclusion in future plan updates. For example, the City of Cambridge, MA has taken that step by including green roofs in its Climate Protection Plan (City of Cambridge, 2004). II-8 III. PLANNING FOR THE GREEN ROOF A number of elements must be considered in the design of a green roof. The unique characteristics of each building site dictate such things as maximum roof load limits, accessibility, and the rooftop microclimate, which influences plant selection and watering needs. City Building and Fire Codes contain provisions that influence green roof design. These design considerations are discussed in the following sub-sections. Also described here are estimated costs for installing and maintaining a green roof and potential sources of state and federal funding support for green roof projects. PICKING A SUITATABLE LOCATION Not every building is equally suitable for a green roof. There are many factors to consider, such as ease of access to the building and the proposed roof area, climate, and the potential for achieving maximum benefits. These factors will play an important role in constraining the design of the green roof and in determining the impact, both environmental and political, of the installation. New or Retrofit The first distinction that must be made is whether a green roof will be installed on a new or existing building. In most cases it will be significantly less expensive to add a green roof to new construction rather than adding one to an existing building. Adding a green roof in the design stage will also allow greater flexibility in the design of the green roof and greater potential to maximize green roof benefits. Yet a retrofit project offers some unique possibilities for demonstrating green roof benefits. The cost of green roofs generally varies from $15 to $25 per square foot ($160 to $270 per square meter) for replacing a conventional roof with a green roof, and from $10 to $15 per square foot ($110 to $160 per square meter) to install a green roof that has been included in new construction (BES, 2004). This cost difference between a retrofit project and a new project is not surprising. It is similar to the cost difference between reroofing a conventional roof versus installing a conventional roof on a new building. As Table III-1 shows, for both a new roof and a retrofit, the cost of a green roof is roughly comparable to that of a conventional roof when the life of the roof is considered. The General Services Division has indicated that the City of Los Angeles’s conventional roofing costs fall at the lower end of the spectrum presented in Table III-1, ranging from as little as $1.55 to $4.60 per square foot (Reeser, 2004). III-1 Table III-1. Cost Comparison of a Green Roof versus a Conventional Roof and a Retrofit versus a New Roof. Retrofit/Reroof New Roof Green Roof Conventional Roof Green Roof Conventional Roof Low End High End Low End High End Low End High End Low End High End Initial Cost* $15.00 $25.00 $5.00 $20.00 $10.00 $15.00 $3.00 $9.00 Roof Life 35 40 15 20 35 40 15 20 Initial Cost $1.03 $1.66 $0.51 $1.74 $0.69 $1.00 $0.31 $0.78 Annualized Over Roof Life** *Source: BES, 2004. **An annual interest rate of 6% has been used to make this comparison. If a project is intended to demonstrate the advantages of a green roof, then a retrofit may be most suitable. Generally, more lead time would be involved in new construction than in a retrofit, due to the time required to design, fund, permit, and construct an entire building before the green roof can be installed. This delay may be unappealing if the objective is to transfer technology to an audience that can then consider implementing that technology in their upcoming projects. As a demonstration, a retrofit also offers the opportunity to make before and after comparisons on the quantifiable benefits of a green roof, such as building energy consumption and roof temperature. Provided the existing conventional roof is in need of reroofing, then as Table III-1 demonstrates, the cost of retrofitting with a green roof falls within the range of conventional reroofing costs. Similarly, for new construction, building with a green roof involves costs roughly similar to the upper end of conventional roof construction costs. Access Whereas intensive green roofs may be implemented to provide open space for recreation and relaxation, extensive green roofs are implemented solely to achieve the many environmental benefits described in Section II. As a result, extensive green roofs are rarely designed with the idea of allowing building residents or the general public routine access to the roof. Even for an extensive green roof, however, it may be desirable to provide some access for educational purposes. In both types of green roofs, some degree of access is necessary for installation and maintenance. Of the 14 green roof projects reported by the City of Portland, six allow limited public access (Hauth, 2004). Access to an extensive green roof does not mean allowing the public to tread wherever they wish over the roof. Most roof structures are not designed to support such activity and most green roof plants would not respond well to being stepped upon (Peck, 2004). Access is provided to educate, enhance appreciation, and encourage the general adoption of green roofs. Although for a demonstration project it would seem nearly essential to provide public access, doing so is not a simple matter. Again, most existing roofs have not been designed to support people or provide for their safety. Providing public access might require costly structural modifications. Other ways to view the roof could be considered if direct roof access is impractical. The roof may be III-2 viewable from a nearby vantage point, or a virtual tour of the roof could be offered on the Internet through a web page offering details of the roof’s design and construction and results of monitoring activities. At a minimum, the roof will need to be accessible for construction and maintenance. In the construction phase, the ease of access to the roof can make a considerable difference in the cost of the project. Moving the materials to the roof by elevator and/or stairwell is less expensive in labor and/or equipment costs than doing so via utility ladders or by crane (Peck et al, 2001). Maintenance activities (plant care, roof membrane inspections) may be performed weekly, monthly or only a few times a year depending upon whether an automated irrigation system is installed and how much care the plants require. The majority of green roof owners in the City of Portland that reported the frequency with which they perform plant care said they did so only once per year. Most of these green roofs are established, and Portland receives adequate rainfall such that more frequent maintenance is not necessary. See the information in “Maintenance” and “Irrigation” later in the Section. At least one experienced green roof contractor recommends several annual inspections (Peck et al, 2001). Maintenance personnel would need to regularly access the roof more frequently than once per month only if irrigation were to be performed manually. Reporting their summer watering schedule, some Portland area green roof owners who water manually stated that they irrigate as frequently as a few times a week, where others reported watering only every two weeks. Most said they did soon an “as needed” basis (Hauth, 2004). Section 3210 of California Occupational Health and Safety regulations provides general guidance on the safety precautions necessary for maintenance workers at elevated locations. The California Department of Occupational Health and Safety can be consulted for details (California DOHS, 562-9449366). Location Two buildings on opposite sides of the city or even on opposite side of a street may present vastly different needs for a successful green roof. Temperature, winds, sun exposure and water availability can differ over small distances, depending upon the particular topography. Also worth noting is that the social and political impact of a green roof can vary greatly from one location to the next. In order to highlight some of the key factors that should be taken into account when selecting a site for a green roof, we will examine two hypothetical candidate buildings. One building is the Van Nuys City Hall pictured in Figure III-1; the other is the Central Library seen in Figure III-2. III-3 Figure III-1. Van Nuys City Hall (top center of image). Source: TerraServer, 2004. Only about 15 miles (24 km) apart, these two locations experience different temperatures and receive differing amounts of precipitation (see Table III-2). These temperature and precipitation differences combined with the different microclimates of the two buildings to create two unique rooftop environments. The Los Angeles Central Library appears to receive a great deal of shading from the U.S. Bank Tower. This would protect the plants on the roof from the most intense afternoon sun but perhaps limit the cooling benefits that would be achieved by a green roof. The Van Nuys City Hall might experience a similar effect, but only on the section of the roof that is shaded by the City Hall’s own tower. Given the average 7-degree maximum temperature difference in the summer (June – August) plus the shading effects, there could be a 17 to 22 degree Fahrenheit (9 to 12 C) temperature difference between the two buildings’ roofs at different points during the day. These factors have implications for the design and maintenance that would be required at each site. For example, they must be taken into consideration when selecting plant species and planning irrigation schedules. Another important aspect of the rooftop microclimate is wind speed. In general, wind speed doubles for every ten-story increase in height. The urban topography can also block and funnel winds, creating unusually weak or strong winds in unexpected locations. Strong winds can erode the rooftop media and dehydrate plants if proper precautions are not taken (City of Chicago, 2001b). In even moderately windy locations it is advisable to follow the precaution taken at the Chicago City Hall, which was to install a biodegradable mesh over the media to protect it from the wind, until the plants are sufficiently established to take over that role (City of Chicago, 2001; Peck et al, 2001). Temperature, sun exposure, and wind intensity are all important climatic factors that will determine the design necessary to ensure the viability of a green roof. (Also see Section IV Designing the Green Roof.) However, the propagation of green roofs throughout the III-4 City of Los Angeles may depend just as much on the social and political climate. This would be especially important for a demonstration project. One thing that could be assured by careful site selection is the visibility of the project. Returning to the Van Nuys City Hall and the Central Library, both appear to be locations where the project would receive high recognition. Both buildings’ roofs are visible from nearby buildings and both buildings are open to the public. It may therefore be possible to offer a vantage point from which the roofs can be viewed from inside the building, or at least a space that could be used for an informational exhibit. Such amenities could lessen concerns about providing public access to the roof itself. Indeed, a location where the roof can be viewed but not accessed may be desirable to set a precedent of extensive green roofs as environmental and aesthetic assets, despite the lack of accessibility. There are other elements of the site selection, apart from its location, that could contribute significantly to the success of a green roof installation. The design of the building itself will in several ways determine the potential benefits that can be achieved by a green roof. Two factors will be instrumental in determining the cooling effect of the green roof. First, the energy savings would be most impressive in a building with a high roof area to volume ratio. As noted in Section II, the energy savings on cooling are approximately 50% for the floor immediately below the roof (Velasquez, 2004). Hence a lower building with a broad roof area that can be covered by the green roof will show the greatest overall energy savings. In the case of an existing building, both energy savings and potential to diminish the urban heat island effect would be greatest for a building with an existing dark colored conventional roof. Dark colored roofs absorb far more of the sun’s energy and, through the radiation of that energy as heat, cause a far greater impact on building energy use and urban temperature increase than do light colored roofs (City of Chicago, 2001; HIG, 2000). In an effort to maximize the net environmental benefit of the project, an ideal site would also provide the opportunity to irrigate the green roof using graywater. The Premier Automotive Group headquarters in Irvine, CA has successfully implemented a graywater irrigation system for their green roof, which has proven a great success (Borghese, 2004; Roofscapes Inc., 2004). Irrigation requirements will be discussed further in Section IV. As seen in Figure III-2, the Central Library stands six floors tall and is dwarfed by the adjacent U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building in Los Angeles County. Located just to the west of the Central Library, the U.S. Bank Tower is seen casting an afternoon shadow over the library roof. In contrast, the Van Nuys City Hall receives less shading due to the distance separating it from taller buildings. The City Hall’s own 452-foot (138m) tower does, however, shade the flat portion of the roof where a green roof could be placed. Shading of a roof causes dramatic temperature fluctuations. Monitoring has shown that when the Chicago City Hall’s green roof is in the shade of a neighboring building (around 4pm), the temperature of the roof drops between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit (6 and 8 C) until it is exposed to sunlight once again, an hour later (City of Chicago, 2001). III-5 Figure III-2. Central Library (bottom center). Source: TerraServer, 2004. Table III-2. Annual Climate Summaries (1971-2000) for San Fernando (Van Nuys City Hall)1 and L.A. Civic Center (Central Library). Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual Civic Center 68 69 Average Max. San Temperature (F) Fernando 66 70 Civic Center 50 51 Average Min. San Temperature (F) Fernando 43 44 Civic Center 3.3 3.9 Average Total San Precipitation (in.) Fernando 3.4 2.0 Source: WRCC, 2004 70 73 75 79 84 85 83 79 71 69 73 74 78 86 92 92 87 80 68 65 53 55 59 62 65 66 65 61 52 49 44 45 50 55 59 60 56 50 42 42 2.7 1.0 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.4 1.1 2.1 1.3 0.3 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.6 2.9 75.6 77.8 57.4 49.4 15.27 12.13 San Fernando is the closest climate station to Van Nuys. The San Fernando Station and Van Nuys, though separated by a distance of approximately 9 miles, are both located in the San Fernando Valley and have similar climates in comparison to downtown Los Angeles. 1 III-6 STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS Many of the most significant constraints on the design of a green roof are imposed by the structure of the roof. These constraints are especially important in the case of a retrofit project. The slope and maximum load of the roof are the most important structural elements to consider. Pitch Limitations Though green roofs have been installed in some cases on roofs with slopes of forty percent and more, doing so greatly increases the complexity of a project. To safely install a green roof on a roof with a pitch of greater than 2.5 inches per foot (about equal to a 20 percent slope) requires supplemental anchoring. Without additional support, the green roof may slide under its own weight (Miller, 2003). On the other hand, a perfectly flat roof would not provide ideal drainage conditions. For proper drainage, a minimum pitch of 1” in 10” (10 percent slope) is preferable (Kerry, 2004). Thus, there is an ideal range between approximately 10 and 20 percent slope. This is not to say that a green roof cannot be installed on roofs with a slope that falls outside this range. It should merely be considered that if one is installing a green roof on a roof with less than 10 percent slope, then care should be taken to ensure proper drainage. And if one is installing a green roof on a roof with a slope of greater than 20 percent, then some additional cost of securely anchoring the green roof should be anticipated. The exposure that the pitch of the roof presents to the sun and wind is also important to consider. A roof could quite possibly have two distinct microclimates defined by different exposures. In the Los Angeles climate, plants on a section of roof with a southern exposure will need to be especially hardy and well cared for to survive the intense sun. This will affect plant selection and the design of a maintenance plan, topics that will be discussed further in Section IV and Section V. Load Requirements The modern extensive green roof features an engineered growth media that is much less dense than natural soil. Typical natural soil weighs approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot (1,600 kg per cubic meter) when wet. If five inches of natural soil were place on a roof, it would weigh more than 40 pounds per square foot (or about 190 kg per square meter for 12 cm of soil) (Peck et al, 2001). The saturated weight of engineered media used for today’s green roofs commonly falls in the range of 10 to 25 pounds per square foot (50 to 120 kg per square meter) (BES, 2004). This substantial weight reduction allows green roofs to be installed on many existing roofs without the need for structural reinforcement. Of course, if a green roof is included in the design of a new building, the roof structure can be engineered to supply much more freedom in media type and depth, which will allow for a wider range of plant species. Table III-3 presents the range of green roof installations offered by one company for different load limitations. III-7 Table III-3. Example of Green Roofs Available as a Function of Weight. Saturated Weight Plant Species 13 – 17 lbs Flower Carpet. Plant families: Sedum 17 – 23 lbs Aromatic Garden. Plant families: Sedum, Sedum and herbs. 25 – 35 lbs Savannah. Plant families: Sedum, Sedum and meadow grasses. 35 – 45 lbs Meadow1. Plant families: Meadow grasses and turf. 35 – 50 lbs Meadow 2. Plant families: Deeper depth than meadow. (Roofmeadow, 2003b) For any green roof project in Los Angeles, a licensed structural engineer or architect, as required by Sections 5538 and 6745 of the California Business and Professions Code, will need to ensure that the building’s structure will support the additional dead load and earthquake load of the green roof (Lee, 2004). If the roof will be accessible to the public, the structure will also need to support an additional live load. This engineering analysis of the roof structure will define the maximum weight of the green roof. In many cases, the position of supporting columns in the building’s structure will lead the maximum permissible weight to vary across the roof, allowing more flexibility of design in some areas. Without such an analysis, there is no way to safely determine an appropriate design. However, one clue has been identified to determine the feasibility of a green roof project before enlisting a structural engineer. Many roofs are ballasted, which means they are covered by a layer of material (often gravel) that by its weight holds the roof membrane in place. The common river rock ballast weighs approximately 12 pounds per square foot (59 kg per square meter) (, 2003). The ballast would be unnecessary in a green roof system, which would immediately free up approximately 12 lbs/sf (59 kg/sq m) for the green roof. PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS – CITY OF LOS ANGELES Given the rather recent entrance of green roofs into the US marketplace and certainly into Southern California, clear procedures for permitting them have yet to be developed, although there are no regulations prohibiting green roofs. Information obtained from various City of Los Angeles departments indicates that the design and safety criteria relating to extensive green roofs are for the most part similar to those associated with a conventional roof and are likely to be easily addressed in the design of the green roof. Building Permit Green roofs are not explicitly mentioned in the Los Angeles Building Code (Lee, 2004). For the current process in the City of Los Angeles, please see Figure III-3. As with any other project, plans need to be approved by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. In other cities, green roof professionals have found that the wet weight of the green roof is treated as an additional dead load and regulated as such under the guidelines of the International Code Council (ICC) (Miller, 2003). It is reasonable to III-8 expect that the same will be true for the City of Los Angeles, as the City’s Building Code is based on the 1997 Uniform Building Code and published by the ICC. The additional concern regarding loading in the Los Angeles area will be the earthquake load. Consultations with personnel in the Department of Building and Safety indicate that a permit will be issued for the construction of an extensive green roof so long as the dead load and earthquake load of the roof is safely within the supporting capacity of the building structure. Again, ensuring that the design meets those guidelines will require the services of a licensed structural engineer, civil engineer or architect as required by Sections 5538 and 6745 of the California Business and Professions Code (Poursabahian, 2004; Poursabahian, 2004b). Fire Safety Provisions Some important issues have been raised regarding the fire hazard presented by a green roof. These concerns relate to the flammability of materials on the roof, occupancy of the roof, and fire department access to the building via the roof. The Building Code prohibits combustible materials on the roof of buildings over a specified height without having adopted certain precautions (Hernandez, 2004). The first measure that is recommended by green roof professionals is to avoid installing plant species such as mosses and grasses that could be particularly flammable if allowed to dry out (, 2003). However, if certain precautions are taken it should not be necessary to limit plant selection based on these criteria. If a sprinkler system were to be installed that could be activated in case of fire that could be sufficient for the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Fire Department may also grant a variance in the absence of a sprinkler system if a maintenance plan shows that the roof will be maintained in such a condition that it will not present a fire hazard (Hernandez, 2004). The irrigation required to prevent plants from becoming flammable varies greatly between plant species. Sedums, with their fleshy water-storing leaves would not easily burn, even in near drought conditions. In contrast, many mosses would burn easily after only a brief dry spell. Thus, the frequency of watering needed to prevent fire danger will depend on the species present. Chapter 5, Article 7, Division 21 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (the LA Fire Code is Chapter 5, Article 7 of the LAMC) presents the LAFD’s current guidelines on what vegetation presents a fire hazard (LAMC, 2003). Roof occupancy concerns would generally not be applicable to extensive green roofs due to their usual inaccessibility. However, in the case of a demonstration project, allowing for visits by small groups may be a desirable attribute. Intensive green roofs are designed for frequent access with minimal restrictions and thus require special treatment. General access by building occupants to the roof requires specific safety measures (railings, etc.) as specified in the Los Angeles Fire Code. The allowable rooftop access is determined by two factors, the allowable occupant load determined by the Fire Department, and the occupancy type defined by the Building Code. The occupant load determines the number of exits, and the occupancy type determines whether an occupied roof is permitted for a specific building. (Poursabahian, III-9 2004b). The method used by the Fire Department to determine the allowable occupant load is detailed in Chapter 5, Article 7, Division 33 of the LAMC. Table 5B of the City of Los Angeles Building Code defines the characteristics necessary for a given occupancy type to be permitted on the roof of distinct building types (Poursabahian, 2004). The LA Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), in coordination with the LAFD, has recently stipulated that certain roof uses on apartment buildings can be classified as “R-1” occupancies instead of the more restrictive “A” type occupancy (Hill, 2004). Even in the case that an assemblage was allowable, it would most likely need to be of limited size. For example, an assemblage of over ten or more occupants would require the availability of a second stairway exit per Section 91.1004.2.3 of the City of Los Angeles Building Code. (Hernandez & Malki, 2004). Additional exits would be required for assemblages of 500 occupants or more. In addition, any accessible green roof requires compliance with the Los Angeles Building Code, Chapter 11B. For more information on rooftop occupancy type and occupant load, readers should consult the Los Angeles Building Code and the City’s Fire Code. The Fire Department will also be concerned about preserving roof access for firefighters in case of emergency. The Fire Department wants existing access to roofs to remain unobstructed. Preserving emergency access to the roof should not be a problem. Green roof professionals commonly recommend leaving a 24” (61 cm) non-vegetated perimeter around the edge of the roof as a fire break and to ease access for firefighters (, 2003). Existing access points such as skylights, roof hatches, stairwells, etc., should not be obstructed (Hernandez, 2004). In addition, the Fire Department sometimes ventilates buildings by cutting through the roof. This is not a concern for concrete or metal clad roofs, as those types are not cut. But in the case of a roof type that could be cut, the Fire Department wishes to preserve that possibility. Doing so could mean demonstrating that the green roof could either be quickly moved, or it may mean maintaining areas of the roof without vegetation. The Fire Department can be contacted for a walk-through of a site in order to determine the best course for addressing these concerns (John Vidovich, Building Standards Unit, City of Los Angeles Fire Department, 213-482-6907). III-10 PROCEDURE – CITY OF LOS ANGELES There are some necessary steps common to all green roofs. Steps outlined in this section relate to obtaining the required approvals from those City of Los Angeles departments that will be involved in a green roof project. Figure III-3 shows the path that a public agency in the City of Los Angeles would follow to implement a green roof; Figure III-4 shows the corresponding process for non-city owned buildings. Incorporating a green roof in certain types of City projects may require additional approval from the City’s Planning Department. Contact the Planning Department if the project falls under an existing Planning document, such as the “Mulholland Corridor Specific Plan,” or for any entitlement actions. This approval would need to be obtained at the same time as the Department of Building and Safety’s plan check (Step 6 in Figures III-3 and III-4). Contact information for the departments indicated in Figures III-3 and III-4 can be found in Section VII. III-11 Figure III-3. Procedure for a Public Agency to Implement a Green Roof. Step 1: Establish initial concept for green roof. Determine if the goals of the project are best satisfied by an extensive or intensive green roof (consider if the roof in question can support an intensive roof). Step 2: Consult with green roof professionals, a landscape architect, an architect, a structural engineer, etc… to design the green roof. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering could provide architectural and engineering services. Step 3: Check preliminary design with the Fire Department Step 4: Bureau of Engineering or a private sector architect and/or structural engineer prepares construction plans with structural detail Step 5: Submit completed construction documents to the Fire Department for approval. Step 6: Submit plans to Department of Building and Safety for approval and permits. Step 7: Assemble construction team and begin construction. Note: Changes to existing Planning documents, or new entitlement actions require the approval of the Planning Department. III-12 Figure III-4. Procedure for a Private Entity to Implement a Green Roof. Step 1: Establish initial concept for green roof. Determine if the goals of the project are best satisfied by an extensive or intensive green roof (consider if the roof in question can support an intensive roof). Step 2: Consult with green roof professionals, a landscape architect, an architect, a structural engineer, etc… to design the green roof. Step 3: Check preliminary design with the Fire Department Step 4: Contract an architect and/or structural engineer to prepare construction plans with structural detail Step 5: Submit completed construction documents to the Fire Department for approval. Step 6: Submit plans to Department of Building and Safety for approval and permits. Step 7: Assemble construction team and begin construction. Note: Changes to existing Planning documents, or new entitlement actions require the approval of the Planning Department. III-13 COSTS (DESIGNING, BUILDING, MAINTAINING) The cost of a green roof is highly variable, depending upon the complexity of the design and the existing roof conditions. For the purpose of this discussion, unless otherwise stated, it will be assumed that the roof has sufficient structural support and the only costs will be those directly involved in the design and construction of the green roof. We are still left with a wide range of costs depending upon the complexity of the design and whether it is new construction or a retrofit. The cost estimates described in this section provide a basis for determining what can be achieved at what expense. Design and Build The cost of the Chicago City Hall green roof retrofit (Figure III-5) was about $1.5 million, or about $75 per planted square foot ($810/sq m); a conventional reroofing would have cost an estimated $1 million. This project includes both extensive and intensive portions. The Multnomah County Building green roof retrofit (Figure III-6) in Portland, Oregon, another green roof, cost only $17 per square foot ($180/sq m) to construct. Costs can vary between different green roofs depending on the complexity of the design. Figure III-5. Roof of Chicago City Hall Figure III-6. Section of Multnomah County Building Roof. A survey of extensive green roofs in the Portland area revealed costs from under $10 per square foot ($110/sq m) to just over $20 per square foot ($220/sq m) (Hauth, 2004). The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services provides a similar estimate, suggesting green roofs cost from $10 to $25 per square foot ($110 to $270/sq m) including labor, materials, and structural upgrades. A conventional roof costs from $3 to $20 per square foot ($30 to $220/sq m) (BES, 2004). According to a consultant on the project, the green roof on the GAP headquarters in San Bruno, CA, cost approximately $24 per square foot ($260/sq m) (Kephart, 2004). In comparison to the Portland green roofs, the cost of the GAP green roof is higher, because the GAP roof was one of the first green roof projects by an American corporation. It was completed in 1995, where most of the Portland area green roofs were constructed in the last few years. The costs of green roofs have declined, and the GAP green roof would probably only cost $11 to $14 per square foot ($120 to $150/sq m) today (Kephart, 2004). III-14 The costs of a green roof are higher than those of a conventional roof due to the greater complexity of the system involved and to the greater specialization required of the roofing contractor. Roughly, the costs of a green roof can be broken down as follows (Peck et al, 2001): • • • • 5% - Design 5% - Project administration and site review 40% - Reroofing with root-repelling membrane 20% - Green roofing system (drainage layer, growth media, protective mesh, etc…) 5% - Plants 15% - Installation/Labor 10% - Irrigation system • • • . The specifics of the green roof system will be explored further in Section IV. What may be surprising, considering the complexity of the green roof system, is that when the life of the project is considered, the cost difference between a green roof and a conventional roof is quite small. This point was touched on in Section II. When the considerably longer life of a green roof is included in the comparison by annualizing the cost of the roofs over their expected lives, a green roof’s equivalent annual cost is between $1.03 and $1.66 per square foot ($11.10 and $17.90 per square meter) for a retrofit versus that of $0.51 to $1.74 per square foot ($5.50 and $18.70 per square meter) for reroofing with a conventional roof2. Maintenance A green roof does have higher maintenance costs than a conventional roof. Maintenance activities that must be performed on a green roof are weeding, replanting, and inspections of the waterproof membrane. According to Peck et al. (2001), the intensity of the plant care activities should decline substantially after the first two years, when the plants are firmly established. Inspections of the roof membrane are complicated by the fact that the membrane is in most places hidden underneath the growth media. They can be greatly facilitated by some foresight in the design of the green roof. Keeping the areas that are more vulnerable to leaks (joints, penetrations and flashings) free of vegetation and growth media is recommended. The green roof can also be divided into distinct compartments which can be moved for inspections or, when the time comes, after 30 to 50 years, for the replacement of the membrane. Electronic leak detection services are also available. Please refer to “Preparing the Roof” in Section IV. As Peck el al. point out, conducting several annual plant inspections and an annual inspection of the roof membrane entails an annual expense of approximately $1 per square foot ($10 per square meter). Annualized estimates are based on an amortization calculation over the life of the roof assuming an annual interest rate of 6%. 2 III-15 Irrigation The other recurring cost that must be considered is irrigation. The specifics of developing an irrigation plan will be discussed in detail in Section V. Irrigation will be necessary to maintain a healthy green roof in the Los Angeles climate. As one green roof professional stated, it would probably be possible to maintain a living non-irrigated green roof in Los Angeles, however there’s a difference between living and looking good (Miller, 2004). In addition to the aesthetics there’s also a strong relationship between water availability and the cooling benefits that the roof will provide. The greater the vegetated coverage and evapotranspiration of water, the greater the cooling benefits will be. Unfortunately, there are few examples of green roofs in the Los Angeles area, and those that do exist have not tracked the quantity of water applied to the green roof. However, there are a multitude of excellent resources for estimating irrigation requirements in California. Although none are specifically adapted for the rooftop microclimate, the available coefficients can be adjusted to approximate rooftop conditions. The thin growth media of green roofs and exposure to winds and intense sun suggests that the coefficients representing the most drying conditions should be used. Climate data for 1971 to 2000 shows an annual average of 15 inches of precipitation at the Los Angeles Civic Center (WRCC, 2004). Using a procedure for estimating landscape water needs developed by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE, 2000), we have estimated that a green roof in Los Angeles will require approximately 0.9 cubic feet of additional water per square foot annually (6.7 gallons per square foot annually, or 270 liters per square meter), if irrigated by a highly efficient drip irrigation system (full details of this calculation are provided in Appendix A). The approximate annual cost of this water assuming a price of $2.20 per hundred cubic feet ($0.78 per cubic meter) of water (LA DWP, 2004) would be $0.020 per square foot ($0.22 per square meter) or about $200 per year for a 10,000 square foot (930 square meters) green roof. Summary of Costs Summing the average installation cost together with the estimated maintenance and irrigation costs described above yields a total green roof cost estimate presented in Table III-4. The benefits provided by a green roof are more difficult to anticipate and more difficult to value. However, to offer an idea of the range of direct benefits that can result from a green roof, it’s worth noting that the City of Chicago is projecting an annual avoided energy cost of $3,600 per year resulting from its 20,000 square foot (1,860 square meter) green roof (City of Chicago, 2001). That’s merely the direct benefit resulting from decreased cooling expenses. Taking into consideration the many benefits provided by green roofs that were presented in Section II undoubtedly would yield a much higher total value. For example, one study to determine the value of several benefits of cool roofs (of which green roofs are one example) conservatively estimated the energy savings and improved air quality to have a present value (assuming a 20 year project life) of approximately $0.72 per square foot of cool roof ($7.70/m2) (Kats, 2003). III-16 Table III-4. Estimated total annualized cost ranges per square foot of an extensive green roof installation in Los Angeles. Reroof New Roof Anticipated Life (yrs) 35 - 40 35 - 40 Annualized Initial Cost (per sf)3 $1.35 $0.84 Maintenance Cost (per sf) $1.00 $1.00 Irrigation Cost (per sf) $0.02 $0.02 Total Annual Cost (per sf) $2.37 $1.86 POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES There are some potential funding sources that could help to defray the higher upfront cost of a green roof. The grants that have been obtained by past green roof projects have capitalized on the most established and easily quantified benefit of green roofs, which is stormwater management. However, as the energy efficiency, air quality, and urban heat island benefits are gaining wider attention, they too may provide avenues for funding. The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) administers three funding sources focusing on water quality, which may offer funds for a green roof. They are: the Clean Water Act Section 3.19 grant, Proposition 13, and Proposition 50. The Section 3.19 grant offers funding to many types of water quality improvement projects. A green roof could be classified as one the following projects, which are funded by this grant: • • • controlling particularly difficult, nonpoint source pollution problems; implementing innovative methods for controlling nonpoint sources; and demonstration projects (EPA, 2004; Jerkevics, 2004). Proposition 13 also offers funds for nonpoint source pollution control and Proposition 50 for watershed management. In 2003, the funds made available by the Section 3.19 grant, Proposition 13, and Proposition 50 were consolidated in one watershed protection, watershed management, and nonpoint source pollution control grant program. This made available up to $138 million in grants via one application (SWRCB, 2004). According to SWRCB contacts, the 2005 grants will also be awarded through one combined competition. In addition to the grant programs, there is also the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, which offers low interest loans to projects that address nonpoint source pollution. This program is also administered by the SWRCB. More information about these sources of funding can be obtained through the SWRCB webpage (, or by contacting the program administrators (Lauma Jerkevics; SWRCB, Section 3.19 Grant Program; 916-341-5498 and Jim Marshal; SWRCB, Integrated Regional Water Management Grant Program; 916341-5636). 3 Average of 35 year and 40 year annualized costs. III-17 Funding may also be available based upon the pollution reduction and energy saving characteristics of a green roof. The EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Source Reduction grants provide funding for a wide variety of projects aimed at eliminating pollution at the source. A green roof could qualify for one of these grants based upon its air quality and/or water quality benefits. The EPA’s Region 9 office awards two or three Source Reduction grants annually in the amount of $25,000 to $50,000. The Source Reduction grants are available for public or private sector entities. In contrast, the Pollution Prevention grants are only available to state agencies (including air districts). Pollution Prevention grants offer funding of up to $200,000. A private green roof might be able to gain access to the Pollution Prevention grants by partnering with an air quality district (Katz, 2004). Requests for proposals for both of these EPA programs are generally available in January. For more information, consult the EPA’s Pollution Prevention website (, or contact the EPA’s Region 9 Pollution Prevention Office (John Katz, Pollution Prevention Coordinator, 415-947-3530). At this time, significant sources of funding for green roofs based on energy conservation do not appear to be available. The California Energy Commission offers low interest loans to public agencies pursing energy efficiency measures, but the funding available for a green roof project would be minimal (Mills, 2004 ) III-18 IV. DESIGNING THE GREEN ROOF Green roof designs can assume a limitless number of forms within the bounds set by functional requirements and budget. Some of the constraints on the design have already been presented, most notably, the weight limit placed on the green roof by the roof structure and the roof microclimate. This section will present the additional elements of a green roof design required in order to ensure that the desired benefits of the green roof installation are achieved. LAYOUT The layout of an extensive green roof must be such that all desirable and mandatory access is allowed for. If it has been decided, based on project goals and the roof structure, that access will and can be granted to the public, it will be necessary to restrict that access to prevent damage to plants (Peck, 2004). It may also be necessary to restrict access based on structural limitations. At Portland’s Multnomah County Building (Figure III-4), though the vegetated portion of the roof is extensive, public access has been granted to a section of the roof for viewing. This section is clearly delineated from the green roof by a railing. In addition to being necessary to ensure public safety on a rooftop, the railing protects the vegetation and enforces the idea that extensive green roofs are not recreational open spaces. Mandatory access provisions must be made for fire protection and maintenance personnel. The eventual repairs and replacement that are needed for any roof must also be planned for in the layout of the green roof. The Fire Department’s requirements for a green roof, presented in Section III.C, can be met largely by the layout of the green roof. Ease of accessibility from all sides of the roof can be maintained by holding the vegetated sections back a minimum of two feet from the edge of the roof. Similar borders around building access points such as doors, skylights and hatches, will facilitate entering and exiting the building via the roof. Both of these are also important for maintenance personnel, who should have easy access to the roof from the building and who, for safety reasons, should not need to venture too near the edge of the roof. In fact, one of the California Department of Health and Safety approved safety measures for rooftop maintenance workers is a harness system that would prevent personnel from reaching the edge of the roof (Jett, 2004). A carefully considered layout can provide for the survival of plants, even beyond the expected 35 to 40 year life of the roof membrane. In the short term, a few well distributed pathways could facilitate the work of building maintenance personnel and prevent plants from being trampled. If traffic on the roof will be infrequent, pathways may not be required, as the vegetation can support some foot traffic (BES, 2004). In the long term, if an open portion of the roof is available for storing displaced sections of the green roof while the waterproof membrane is repaired/replaced, it will avoid the time and cost of moving green roof materials to and from the roof (Peck et al, 2001). However, the benefits achieved by the green roof will depend on the area of roof that it covers. Greater coverage will lead to greater benefits. Thus, if it is decided to provide for such future storage space, the area preserved should be kept to the minimum necessary. IV-1 PREPARING THE ROOF The structure of a green roof departs from that of a conventional roof beginning with the roof membrane. Most green roof contractors will only guarantee their work if a new membrane is installed along with the green roof. As a result, the most advantageous time to install a retrofit green roof is when the existing membrane is scheduled for replacement. Although a green roof serves the function of protecting the membrane from exposure to the elements, it also exposes the membrane to potential penetration by roots. Roof membranes with some organic content (e.g. bituminous membranes) are particularly vulnerable to root penetration and/or micro-organic degradation (Peck et al, 2001). These types of membranes must be used in conjunction with a chemical or physical root barrier. Other membranes, such as those composed of synthetic rubber or reinforced PVC, generally do not need a root barrier (BES, 2004). An experienced green roof contractor or green roof materials provider will be able to determine if a root barrier is required for a given roof membrane. As seen in Figure IV-1, the waterproof membrane and root barrier form the base layer of the green roof. Figure IV-1. Typical extensive green roof structure (source: BES, 2004). IV-2 Not depicted in Figure IV-1 is an optional electronic leak detection system. Such a system is not necessary and most green roofs have been implemented without it. However, it is something that some companies are recommending to deal with the difficulty of inspecting/repairing a membrane that is buried under four or more inches of media (Peck et al, 2001). Sometimes referred to as electric field vector mapping (EFVM), this leak detection technique does not necessarily require installing any additional material during construction of the green roof. It does, however, require that the membrane installed have certain electrical resistance properties. Certain types of EPDM (a rubber membrane) and aluminized membranes will not be compatible with EFVM (Roofscapes Inc., 2002d). Additional information on EFVM can be found on the International Leak Detection website ( A green roof contractor should be able to provide further information on leak detection technology. GROWTH MEDIUM The growth medium is the entire volume of material that will be available to the root system. This part of the system is responsible for storing the water and nutrients that plants need for survival, conveying excess water to drains, and doing so in a thin, lightweight layer. At the base of the growth medium is the drainage layer. The first measure to ensure proper drainage is to make sure water is not allowed to enter under the waterproof membrane. This is accomplished by placing flashing around the edges of the roof and around any roof penetrations (e.g. skylights) as indicated in Figure IV-1. Water percolating through a fully saturated layer of growing medium must not be allowed to pool, as this would threaten the impermeability of the roof membrane and create a risk of drowning the plants (Peck et al, 2001). Existing roof drains will normally be sufficient to evacuate water from the roof deck (City of Chicago, 2001b), but first the water must be conveyed to the drains. Drainage is generally provided either by a thin layer of gravel or by a manufactured drainage sheet (BES, 2004). Though both options are perfectly functional so long as they provide a minimum permeability of 7 in/minute (180 mm/minute) (City of Chicago, 2001c), the manufactured drainage sheet has the advantages of being lightweight and of including a fabric filter to prevent the passage of soil particles that could otherwise form obstructions in the drainage layer (Oberlander et al, 2002). In designing the green roof drainage system, the possibility of capturing the water for later use should be considered. Doing so both reduces the roof’s (and potentially the entire building’s) water use and further alleviates the strain on the storm drain system caused by a large rainfall event. At a very basic level, the water can be passed from the roof to other plantings around the building. A very practical system would be to collect the runoff in a cistern from which it could be drawn to irrigate the green roof during dry periods. An impressive example of the use of stored runoff is the drainage system at the Peoples’ Food Coop in Portland, OR. At that building, the runoff from the green roof is collected in a cistern which supplies both the building’s toilets and its irrigation system (Hauth, 2004). The second portion of the growth medium, which overlays the drainage layer, is the soil or “engineered media”. This is a mixture of materials designed to fulfill the same function as natural soil but with about half the density, so as to save weight. Soil media for an extensive green roof typically ranges from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) in depth (Peck et al, 2001). For IV-3 example, the Premier Automotive Headquarters in Irvine, CA, features a green roof with five inches of media. At least one green roof professional has recommended that 5 inches (13 cm) be considered a minimum depth in the relatively warm, dry South Coast climate (Miller, 2004). Greater soil depth results in greater water storing capacity, which will help plants through dry periods but adds weight. Possible ingredients in the soil mix include: topsoil, compost, perlite, digested fiber, clay or shale, pumice and coir (coconut fiber) (BES, 2004). The major considerations in determining the exact mix for a specific project will be weight constraints and desired water retention. Germany’s FLL (Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung landschaftsbau e.V. or the Research Society for Landscape Development and Landscape Design), which Roofscapes Inc. indicates has been a reliable provider of information on green roofs for over 15 years, gives the guidelines for green roof soil media presented in Table IV-1 (Roofscapes Inc, 2003). Most extensive green roofs will have only one layer of media (multi-layered systems are more common for intensive green roofs) and should thus follow the guidelines in the first column of Table IV-1. Using the saturated density of the one layer extensive green roof together with a minimum recommended depth of 5 inches (13 cm) yields a weight of 21 to 36 pounds per square foot (100 to 180 kg/m2). Table IV-1. FLL Recommended Soil Properties of an Extensive Green Roof. One Layer Multi Layered (extensive roofs) (intensive roofs) PHYSICAL PROPERTIES Water retention (compressed) Min. 25% Min. 35% Water permeability Min. 2.4 in/min Min. .02 in/min (compressed) (60 mm/min) (.6 mm/min) Air content (saturated) Min. 25% Min. 15% Density (saturated) 50 – 87 lb/cf 62 – 137 lb/cf (0.8 – 1.4 g/cm^3) 1.0 – 2.2 g/cm^3 CHEMICAL PROPERTIES pH 6.5 – 9.5 6.5 – 8.0 Salt content of water extracted (if possible) 1 g/liter Initial organic matter 3 – 8 percent Nitrogen (N) slightly soluble Max. 60 mg/liter Phosphorous Max. 150 mg/liter Potassium Min. 150 mg/liter Magnesium Max. 120 mg/liter Source: City of Chicago, 2001c As the majority of the materials selected for green roof media are lightweight, high winds can easily blow them from the roof before plants are firmly established and offer complete ground cover. It is generally recommended that a biodegradable mesh be installed over the growth media during construction. This mesh will protect the soil from wind erosion until the plants can perform that function (City of Chicago, 2001). IV-4 CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS Although there is a substantial amount of guidance available on plant selection for green roofs, little of it is directly applicable to climatic conditions in Los Angeles. The majority of the information on green roofs comes from areas receiving much more precipitation than Los Angeles (~15 in/yr, 38 cm/yr), such as Chicago (~36 in/yr, 91 cm/yr) and Portland (~42 in/yr, 107 cm/yr). The same general plant characteristics are applicable in all these areas, but information on the performance of specific species is not currently available for Los Angeles. The nearly universally recommended plant characteristics for an extensive green roof are: • perennial or self-sowing • drought tolerant • wind tolerant • able to withstand temperature extremes • need little mowing, trimming, fertilizer or pesticides • fire resistant • provide good ground coverage • shallow root structure (BES, 2004; Peck et al, 2001) Plants with these characteristics are much more likely to survive the extreme rooftop climate. They also perform the function of stabilizing the growth medium and require little maintenance. One group of plants which commonly have the above characteristics is referred to as succulents. Of the succulents, sedums and sempervivums are commonly used on green roofs. Of course, the list of plants that will survive on a green roof grows longer as the budget for caring for those plants grows. A study by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services found the following types of plants on Portland area green roofs: Sedum, creeping ground covers, wildflowers, fescue, sempervivum, ice plant, native grasses, wetland prairie species, delosperma, non-native wildflowers and grasses, yarrow, ornamental grasses, ornamental shrubs, vines, native evergreen and deciduous shrubs, herbaceous perennials and endangered native species (Hauth, 2004). Many of those plants would not be appropriate for Los Angeles, but we see some of the same plants used in successful California projects. Two California projects in particular offer some insight into appropriate plant species. One is the green roof at the Premier Automotive Group headquarters in Irvine (Figure IV-2). That roof is planted with Sedum, Echeveria, Lampranthus, Delosperma, Agave, and Aloe (Roofscapes Inc., 2004). The other is the GAP green roof in San Bruno, which is planted with native grasses and wildflowers (Figure IV-3) (GRAE, 2003). There is clearly some overlap between the plant species from Portland area green roofs and those being used successfully in California. Sedums, native grasses, and delosperma appear to be generally successful in the green roof environment. Native species are particularly appealing for green roofs. These plants are appropriate for the climate and require little maintenance. They also offer habitat for native species of birds and insects. For example, one California native plant species that is a promising candidate for a green roof is the Chalk Dudleya (Figure IV-4). In addition to having a low water requirement, this species is known to attract hummingbirds, which may be viewed as a desirable attribute in some applications (SC HGG, 2004). IV-5 Figure IV-2. Green Roof of Premier Automotive Group in Irvine, CA. Figure IV-3. Green Roof of GAP Inc. in San Bruno, CA. Source: Roofscapes Inc., 2004 Source: Garmhausen, 2004 . Figure IV-4. Chalk Dudleya Source: SC HGG, 2004 IV-6 Most landscape architects who are familiar with the Southern California climate should have a good understanding of what plants will best meet the characteristics listed at the beginning of this section. Those that have an understanding of the specific challenges of a green roof would be best prepared to offer guidance on plant selection. Examples of sun tolerant plant species with low water requirements are listed in Table IV-2. Some of these species may be appropriate for a green roof in Los Angeles, but a qualified landscape architect should be consulted for a more definitive list. Table IV-2. Sun and drought tolerant plant species potentially suitable for green roof applications in the Los Angeles area. Common Name Gold Tooth Aloe Golden Barrel Cactus Many species of agave Hasse’s Dudleya Blue-blad Cactus Chalk Dudleya Felt Plant Ice Plant Lampranthus October Daphne Oscularia Purple Stonecrop Brown Sedge Deer Grass Tussock Sedge (Dudleya hassei) (Opuntia violacea santa-rita) (Dudleya Pulverulenta) (Kalanchoe beharensis) (Delosperma cooperii) (Lampranthus productus) (Sedum sieboldii) (Lampranthus deltoides) (sedum spathulifolium) (Carex testacea) (Muhlenbergia rigens) (Carex stricta) Figure IV-7 Figure IV-8 Figure IV-6 Figure IV-5 Figure IV-4 Beavertail Prickly Pear (Opuntia basilaris) Scientific Name (Aloe nobilis) (Echinocactus grusonii) Notes White Trailing Ice Plant (Delosperma Alba) IV-7 Figure IV-5. Ice Plant Figure IV-6. October Daphne Source: SC HGG, 2004 Source: SC HGG, 2004 Figure IV-7. Purple Stonecrop Figure IV-8. Brown Sedge Source: SC HGG, 2004 Source: SC HGG, 2004 IV-8 IRRIGATION Irrigation will be required during the establishment phase of plant development and during dry periods. In wetter climates, it has been possible to limit irrigation to just the establishment phase (Peck et al, 2001). However, it would be unreasonable to expect even fully developed plants to survive the long dry periods characteristic of the Los Angeles area without irrigation. The average monthly precipitation in Los Angeles drops below one inch from May through October (WRCC, 2004). In Portland, average monthly precipitation only drops below one inch in July and August. Yet even in Portland, most green roof owners report irrigating the roof during drier months (Hauth, 2004). In most cases, green roof developers in Los Angeles will seek to minimize water use through appropriate plant selection and use of efficient irrigation techniques. Methods There are many different irrigation techniques. The roof may be watered by hand, by a manually operated sprinkler system, or by an automated irrigation system (BES, 2004). Clearly an automated irrigation system will have a greater upfront cost, whereas the manual systems will involve greater annual labor expenditures. Many Portland green roofs use manual watering (Hauth, 2004) but roofs there typically only need to be watered perhaps two or three times per week for two months of the year. A green roof in Los Angeles will likely require more frequent watering and will certainly require watering for more months out of the year. The roof at the Premier Automotive Group headquarters in Irvine actually features two irrigation systems. The first, an automated sprinkler system was used only during the establishment period. The second, an automated drip irrigation system is now used on a regular watering schedule. Drip irrigation is generally more efficient because less water is lost to evaporation but the more uniform coverage provided by sprinkler systems may be preferred for some plantings. A landscape professional should be consulted to determine the optimal sprinkler system design for each specific installation. Given the comparatively high water needs of a green roof in Los Angeles, an automated drip irrigation system will generally be most appropriate. A drip irrigation system typically delivers 90 percent or more of the water it uses to plants. In contrast, a sprinkler system delivers only 75 – 85 percent due to over-spray and direct evaporation (Stryker, 2001). An automated system also offers a higher efficiency due to the more exact calculation of total water delivery that it offers. An automated drip irrigation system may entail a higher initial cost, but savings in water consumption and labor generally make it a more economically efficient choice in the long term, and it’s certainly the most environmentally friendly option. An assumed efficiency of 90 percent (reflective of drip irrigation) was used to calculate the annual water usage of 0.90 cubic feet per square foot (270 liters per square meter) of roof ($0.020 per square foot or $0.22 per square meter) presented in Section III. If an efficiency of 80 percent is used instead (reflective of a sprinkler system), the water use rises to 1.0 cubic feet per square foot (300 liters per cubic meter) of roof ($0.022 per square foot or $0.24 per square meter). That’s a cost increase IV-9 of about 10 percent or about $20 per year for a 10,000 square foot (930 square meters) roof. Alternative Sources of Water Even greater water efficiency can be achieved if captured rainwater or gray water can be used for irrigation. As mentioned in the discussion of the growth medium, drainage from the roof can be directed to a cistern rather than to the City’s stormwater drainage system. A green roof can capture between 10 and 100 percent of incidental rainfall (BES, 2004). Adopting the midpoint of those values (55 percent), under the average annual precipitation in Los Angeles of about 15 inches (38 cm) (WRCC 2004), a 10,000 square foot (930 square meters) green roof would yield 6,250 cubic feet (177,000 liters) of runoff annually. If all of that were captured, it would supply 70 percent of the estimated annual water needs of the roof. Yet another water efficient option would be to use gray water to irrigate the green roof. Gray water is wastewater that has not come in contact with toilet waste. Gray water is widely used for landscape irrigation in California. Gray water use requires that a building have two independent wastewater systems: one for disposal of human waste and the other for all other uses. As the majority of existing buildings have only one combined wastewater disposal system, it will generally not be cost effective to implement a gray water system in an existing building. However, such systems are quite feasible when included in designs for new construction and can be an important element of a total water conservation program. A gray water irrigation system was implemented in the construction of the Premier Automotive Group headquarters and supplies all of the landscape irrigation needs, including irrigation of the green roof (US GBC, 2003). Implementation of such a system requires a permit from the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. California Administrative Code, Title 24, Part 5 details the California gray water Standards. This and more information on California gray water use can be found through the California Department of Water Resources website ( IV-10 V. GROWING AND MAINTAINING THE GREEN ROOF There are two distinct phases in the maintenance of a green roof: establishment and continued care. Establishment begins with the installation of the green roof and ends when plants are mature (usually about 2 years). Continued care is the routine maintenance that must be performed over the life of the green roof after plants are established. Two important questions to consider in the installation of a green roof are when it will be installed and what method of plant installation will be used. These choices will have a large impact on the intensity of maintenance that is required during the establishment period of the green roof. INSTALLATION AND ESTABLISHMENT There are several different methods for installing plants on a green roof. Plants can be installed in vegetation mats, in vegetation boxes, as plugs or potted plants, or as seeds or sprigs. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods are presented in Table V-1. Table V-1. Planting Methods for Green Roofs. Method Description Advantages Vegetation Similar to sod, pre-Erosion control mats germinated mats or grids -Minimal weed of plants are laid problems -Less watering required than other methods Vegetation Pre-planted recycled -Movable boxes plastic containers -Lightweight -Built in stormwater retention Plugs or Pre-germinated plants are -Design freedom potted plants planted individually -Less care required than with sprigs or seeds Sprigs or seeds Sprigs and seeds can be hand broadcast or seeds can be hydraseeded -Design freedom -Ease of installation Disadvantages -Less design flexibility -Less design flexibility -Need more watering than mats -Need erosion protection -Need weeding and mulching -Need more watering -Need erosion protection -Need mulching Source: BES, 2004 As shown in Table V-1, using plugs, potted plants, sprigs or seeds in the installation results in heightened maintenance during the establishment period. The intensity of the V-1 additional maintenance will also depend upon what time of year the green roof is installed. Installing the plants in the summer requires relatively heavy irrigation as compared to installing the plants in the fall (Peck et al, 2001). Though installing the plants in the fall generally makes them vulnerable to cold weather conditions, this is much less of a concern in the relatively mild winters of the South Coast, as compared to other locations. A landscape architect, or other horticultural expert, can determine the most appropriate time for planting. Before the green roof plant species achieve a high coverage of the roof area, the green roof will be vulnerable to dehydration and intrusion by weeds. The maintenance plan for the City of Chicago’s green roof ( provides for 3 weeding and watering activities per week during the establishment phase (City of Chicago, 2001d). This plan offers a good example of planning for the care of an extensive green roof. Some sections of this plan describe care for segments of the Chicago roof covered by an intensive type garden; care requirements for an intensive green roof include elements that are not necessary for an extensive green roof. MAINTENANCE The maintenance requirements of a green roof decrease substantially after the plants are established. Simple extensive green roofs in a climate offering rooftop conditions similar to those of the plants’ native habitat may require as few as two or three inspections per year to check for weeds or damage. At the other end of the spectrum, an intensive green roof could require one or more maintenance activities per week (Peck et al, 2001). The Chicago City Hall maintenance plan provides for a biweekly monitoring program for continued care (City of Chicago, 2001d). Some of the maintenance activities that may need to be performed over the life of the green roof are: • • • • • • Inspect overflow drains to make sure they are clear (approx. monthly) Check the health and coverage of the vegetation; remove and replace as needed (approx. monthly) Weeding (a few times per year to monthly) Mulching (not at all to monthly) Inspect the waterproof membrane (annually) Pest control (when problems are detected) (City of Chicago, 2001d; BES, 2004). Certainly one of the most critical aspects of continued green roof care will be irrigation. Until the water requirements of the green roof are well understood, it will probably be necessary to perform frequent inspections to determine if the plants are receiving just the right amount of water. It is a good idea to routinely monitor weather conditions and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. This can be easily accomplished by using the watering index for Southern California available through the Be Water Wise website ( The watering index, updated weekly, is designed to help gardeners and landscape maintenance professionals estimate optimal irrigation needs. V-2 Once the maximum irrigation requirement for the green roof is determined,1 the watering index can be used to determine what fraction of that maximum requirement is necessary throughout the year. Modern electronic automatic sprinkler controllers include a watering index adjustment feature which makes implementing the weekly adjustments very easy. The maximum irrigation requirement is the irrigation needed on a typical hot, dry summer day. An estimate of that requirement can be made using the watering calculator on the Be Water Wise website or by other means. However, a true understanding of the green roof’s maximum irrigation requirement will require some initial monitoring. 1 V-3 VI. QUANTIFYING BENEFITS As discussed in Section II, green roofs offer a wide range of potential environmental, economic, and social benefits. Since green roofs are still a relatively new concept in the Los Angeles area, any new projects are likely to generate interest in measuring these benefits for purposes of demonstrating the advantages of the green roof concept. Convincing, quantitative demonstrations of green roof benefits would go a long way towards promoting wider acceptance among developers and building owners and generating opportunities for additional funding sources and incentive programs. Demonstrations of green roof benefits would generate favorable publicity and promote public awareness and acceptance of green roofs. Results of benefit monitoring could also be used to optimize green roof design for the unique characteristics of the Los Angeles environment. Some of the green roof benefits described in Section II, such as storm water runoff reduction and near roof temperature reduction, are much more amenable to quantification than others (e.g., aesthetics). Air quality benefits are quantifiable in theory but this is difficult to do in practice because of differences in scale between a single demonstration roof and the entire urban atmosphere. Numerical modeling tools have been used to estimate the air quality benefits of large scale cooling (such as might be associated with the eventual widespread adoption of green roofs) but these results are subject to considerable uncertainty (see Stoeckenius et al., 2001 for a more complete discussion). Even in the case of the more easily evaluated benefits, however, designing a valid controlled experiment is very difficult. For example, even a simple study such as the comparison of near roof temperature at the Chicago City Hall green roof with that at a nearby building presents challenges: there are differences in the shading received by the buildings, in the orientation of the roofs to the sun and in other building characteristics which confound the temperature comparison. It is strongly recommended that green roof developers interested in a benefit quantification study partner with an experienced research group conversant with experimental design and potential confounding factors. Collaboration with an established research group also opens up the possibility of tapping into alternative funding sources for the benefits analysis. Some groups that have experience in the design of green roof experiments are: •Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Heat Island Group (– Though not specifically involved in green roof research, the Heat Island Group has performed extensive studies of cool roofing materials and the effect of cool roofing materials and vegetation on the urban climate and energy consumption. • Michigan State University Vegetative Greenroof Research Program ( – The green roof research conducted at MSU includes evaluating the performance of different plant species in the green roof environment and evaluating the stormwater management of green roofs. VI-1 • Pennsylvania State University Center for Green Roof Research ( – The Center has researched plant growth and spread on green roofs, the performance of different beds and green roof runoff • Portland State University ( – PSU is engaged in experiments at two buildings in Portland: the Multnomah County Building and the Broadway building. • British Columbia Institute of Technology Green Roof Research Facility ( - This facility is host to studies on green roof stormwater management, energy efficiency, species selection, maintenance programs, and the transfer of green roof technologies. One motivation for studying the performance of a green roof is to increase the likelihood of obtaining funding for future projects. The current funding opportunities for green roofs rely almost entirely upon the well-demonstrated runoff reduction capacity of a green roof. Other funding could be made available if benefits, such as energy savings, were demonstrated. Even a public demonstration project that is not sufficiently rigorous to withstand the scrutiny of a full scientific peer review process (i.e. that is lacking control of all external variables, rigorous quality of control, or is not sufficiently documented to be entirely verifiable or replicable) would still have value for promoting green roof technology and raising awareness of the environmental challenges that green roofs seek to address. The value of monitoring a green roof project may be as much in what it tells the public about the urban environment as in the quantitative information it offers on green roof effects. VI-2 VII. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES CITY OF LOS ANGELES CONTACTS Environmental Affairs Department Applicable Services: The Environmental Affairs Department chairs the City’s Green Roof Task Force, prepared this report, and continues to offer guidance on the implementation of green roofs in the City of Los Angeles. CONTACT: Environmental Affairs Department Air Quality Division 213-978-0851 Department of Public Works – Bureau of Engineering Applicable Services: The Bureau of Engineering plans, designs and manages construction of municipal buildings; reviews plans and specifications prepared by private engineers and architects for public facilities; prepares structural, electrical, and mechanical engineering details; and prepares preliminary and final construction cost estimates. Its responsibilities include engineering features and standards for all privately developed subdivisions and tracts, sustainable design evaluation, structural analysis, environmental compliance, and research into geology and soil conditions. It also develops standard design plans, and distributes them to the private sector for continuity. CONTACT: Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering Architectural Division 213-485-4389 Department of Public Works – Bureau of Sanitation Applicable Services: This department provides information about the City of Los Angeles stormwater management activities and the City’s runoff charges. CONTACT: Bureau of Sanitation Watershed Protection Division Public Counter 213-485-3951 Department of Building and Safety Applicable Services: The Department of Building and Safety reviews construction specifications and issue building permits. This department can also offer guidance on what structures and uses are permissible. There is a fee for the construction plan check. CONTACT: Structural Plan Check 213-482-7307 888-LA4-BUILD City Planning Department Applicable Services: This department verifies whether the project falls under an existing specific plan, ordinance, any new entitlement actions, or design guidelines such as those VII-1 listed in the Northeast Los Angeles Community Plan, the Canoga Park Community Design Overlay, etc. CONTACT: Community Planning 213-978-1164 General Services Department Applicable Services: The Department of General Services tests the City’s building construction materials; constructs and maintains City-owned buildings; and provides custodial services for City facilities. CONTACT: Construction Forces Division 213-978-2600 Department of Water and Power Applicable Services: This department provides information on energy efficiency and water conservation programs, regulations governing the use of graywater in the City of Los Angeles, and general characteristics of graywater systems. CONTACT: Department of Water and Power Energy Efficiency Programs 800-DIAL-DWP (800-3425-397) Graywater Use 213-367-1138 Water Conservation 888-544-4498 Fire Department Applicable Services: The Fire Department reviews and approves construction plans for fire and life hazards such as adequate emergency access, structural protection, etc. CONTACT: Fire Department Construction Services Unit 213-482-6900 GREEN ROOF ORGANIZATIONS The following organizations promote green roofs and other green building practices: EcoRoofs Everywhere This organization provides information (photos, specifications, cost, etc.) on Portland area green roofs projects and is actively involved in community green roof construction projects. VII-2 Greening Gotham New York City’s online green roof resource was created with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It focuses on raising public awareness and support for green roof development. Green Roofs This website offers descriptions of many current green roof projects, links to green roof research, and a directory of green roof contractors. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities This network of public and private organizations works to promote the spread of green roofs through research, education, and lobbying. Northwest Ecobuilding Guild Information on green roof projects in the Northwest and links to green roof suppliers. U.S. Green Building Council The U.S. Green Building Council administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and offers some technical guidance on green building. RESEARCH GROUPS British Columbia Institute of Technology – Green Roof Research Facility Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau e.V. Research Association for Landscape Development and Landscape Construction (in German) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Heat Island Group Michigan State University – Vegetative Greenroof Research Program National Research Council Institute for Research in Construction VII-3 1200 Montreal Road, Building M20 Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6 Pennsylvania State University – Center for Green Roof Research CITY/STATE GOVERNMENT GREEN ROOF PROGRAMS Some of the most useful guidance on implementing green roofs in the City of Los Angeles may come from the other cities that have recently initiated green roof programs. Summaries of the green roof programs in Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis – St. Paul and the State of Pennsylvania are provided below. Portland, OR Currently the city of Portland, OR, is helping to lead the way in the U.S. with aggressive sustainable design measures which include promoting green roofs. In July, 2002, the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development (OSD) introduced "Portland LEED," the first U.S. Green Building Council approved local supplement to the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Two measures are in place in Portland to make green eco-roof construction easier on the wallet, and a third is being worked on. First, "All building projects in the city that will result in at least 500 square feet (46 square meters) of impervious surface are required to implement stormwater pollution reduction and flow control measures, and green roofs are one of the acceptable measures," (EBN, 2001). Second, builders can now increase their floor area ratio (FAR) when they include a green eco-roof to cover a minimum of 60% of the roof surface. In March 2001, Portland created a FAR bonus, which grants an additional three square feet of floor area per square foot of green eco-roof to be added to the footprint of the building. A further measure plans for Portland to reduce stormwater utility fees for buildings with green roofs by July 2006. The City's "Clean River Incentive and Discount Program" is aimed at green roofs atop commercial, industrial, institutional, multi-family, and single family residential properties. (Mann, 2003). CONTACT: Tom Liptan Bureau of Environmental Services 503-823-7267 [email protected] VII-4 Chicago, Illinois The Chicago Energy Conservation Ordinance went into effect on June 3, 2002 and includes a chapter from Chicago's Urban Heat Island Reduction Initiative identifying minimum ASTM standards of solar reflectance and emissivity. The ordinance requires all new and refurbished roofs to install green roofs or reflective roofing. The City allowed time for public awareness and offered workshops to developers, designers and other interested parties. The Ordinance is based on requirements from the International Energy Conservation Code (GRIM, 2002). Density Bonuses - According to EPA Smart Growth Policy Information, "To create attractive commercial and business districts, the City of Chicago increases development square footage, known as floor area premiums, when such developments include public amenities. Public amenities include plazas, pocket parks, block connections, green roofs, transit improvements, and wider sidewalks among others" (EPA, 2004b). The Chicago Department of Zoning states, "A floor area premium shall be granted for a roof that is covered with plants that reduce the 'urban heat island' effect and storm-water runoff of buildings in the central business district. To qualify for a floor area premium, a minimum of 50 % of the roof area at the level of the green eco-roof or a minimum of 2000 square feet (whichever is greater) shall be covered by vegetation and shall meet..." certain standards. CONTACT: Kevin M. Laberge City of Chicago Department of Environment 30 N. LaSalle St. 25th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60602 Tel: (312) 742-0463 Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services issued the "Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual" which includes a chapter on green roofs. The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning agency for the seven county Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and also operates the wastewater, transit, airport, and regional parks systems. The BMP manual is intended for the nonpoint source technical assistance program, and will be used by the 180 or so communities in the region. The chapter was prepared by Barr Engineering Company as one of 40 BMPs that the metro area is focusing on. CONTACT: Karen Jensen [email protected] (651) 602-1401 VII-5 PUBLICATIONS BES, 2004. "Ecoroof Questions and Answers". Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland. Portland, Oregon. Internet address: City of Chicago, 2001b. Chicago’s Green Rooftops: A Guide to Rooftop Gardening. City of Chicago. Internet address: Kats, 2003. Benefits of Green Buildings: A Report to California’s Sustainable Building Task Force. October. Internet address: Oberlander et al, 2002. Introductory Manual for Greening Roofs. Public Works and Government Services, Canada. Internet address: ofs_wLinks.pdf. Peck et al, 1999. Design Guidelines for Green Roofs. Internet address: geID=32570. Peck et al, 1999. “Greenbacks from Green Roofs: Forging a New Industry in Canada”. March. Internet address: Stoeckenius, T.E., C.A. Emery and D.R. Souten, 2001. Development of an Ozone Precursor Emission Reduction Credit Program Based on Urban Heat Island Mitigation Measures. ENVIRON International Corp., May 24. UCCE, 2000. A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California. University of California Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources. August. Internet address: VII-6 OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS EPA Office of Water, Nonpoint Source Control Branch Robert Goo 202-566-1201 Knowledge of programs and policies used to support green roofs at the federal level. EPA, Region 9, Pollution Prevention Wendi Shafir, Pollution Prevention Coordinator Phone: (415) 972-3422 VII-7 REFERENCES BES, 2004. "Ecoroof Questions and Answers". Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland. Portland, Oregon. Internet address: Borghese, 2004. Information on the Premier Auto Group headquarters’ green roof provided by Victor Borghese (Building Manager; Premier Auto Group Headquarters; Irvine, CA; 949-341-5855). City of Cambridge, 2004. Climate Protection Plan. City of Cambridge, Community Development Department, Environmental & Transportation Planning Division. Cambridge, MA. Internet address: df. City of Chicago, 2001b. Chicago’s Green Rooftops: A Guide to Rooftop Gardening. City of Chicago. Internet address: City of Chicago, 2001c. Guidelines for Planning, Performance and Maintenance of Vegetated Rooftops. Originally published by the Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau E.V., 1995. Reprinted by City of Chicago. Internet address: City of Chicago, 2001. “City Hall Rooftop Garden”. City of Chicago. Internet address: City of Chicago, 2001d. Landscape Maintenance Plan. Internet address: City of LA, 2003. IRP Steering Group Workshop No. 3, Meeting Minutes. City of Los Angeles. Internet address: Council File 02-0182, 2004. “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”. Los Angeles City Council, Office of the City Clerk. Los Angeles, CA. April. Internet address: CSU, 2002. Understanding Plant Water Use. Evapotranspiration (ET). Colorado State University. Internet address: EBN, 2001. A Garden Overhead: The Benefits and Challenges of Green Roofs. Environmental Building News Vol.10, No. 11:1, 10-18. R-1 EIA, 2004. Carbon Sequestration – Chapter IV. Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases. Energy Information Administration. Internet address: EPA, 2004. Polluted Runoff (Nonpoint Source Pollution). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. August. Internet address: EPA, 2004b. Smart Growth Policy Information. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Internet address: FAA, 2004. Aircraft Noise: How We Measure it and Assess its Impact. Office of Environment and Energy, The Federal Aviation Administration. Internet address: FAA, 2002. Estimated Airplane Noise Levels in A-Weighted Decibels. Office of Environment and Energy, The Federal Aviation Administration. Internet address: Garmhausen, 2004. “Is it Easier Being Green?” The Slatin Report. March 4, 2004. Internet address:, 2003. “FAQ’s”. Internet address: GRAE, 2003. Green Roof Awards of Excellence. Chicago, IL. May. Internet address: GRHC, 2002. “Public Benefits of Green Roofs”. The Cardinal Group Inc., Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Toronto, Ontario Canada. Internet address: GRIM, 2002. “Chicago’s New Energy Ordinance Requires Reflective or Green Roofs”. The Green Roof Infrastructure Monitor, Volume 4, No. 1, 2002. Internet address: GRIM, 2000. “Overview of Stormwater and Green Roof infrastructure”. The Green Roof Infrastructure Monitor, Volume 2, No. 3, 2000. Internet address: Hauth, 2004. Data on Portland area greenroof designs provided by Emily Hauth (City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services; Portland, Oregon; [email protected]). April 23, 2004. R-2 Hernandez, 2004. Information on the City of Los Angeles Fire Department’s role in approving a greenroof provided by Chief Alfred Hernandez (City of Los Angeles, Fire Department; Los Angeles, California; 213-978-3575). May 5, 2004. Hernandez & Malki, 2004. Alfred Hernandez and Hani Malki representing the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. Green Roof Task Force Meeting. Los Angeles, CA 25 Feb. 2004. HIG, 2000. “Cool Roofs”. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Heat Island Group. Internet address: HIG, 1999. “L.A. Island”. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Heat Island Group. Internet address: Jett, 2004. Herman Jett provided information on the safety requirements for rooftop maintenance personnel (Los Angeles Area Office, California Department of Occupational Health and Safety; Santa Fe Springs, CA; 562-944-2060). June 4, 2004. Kats, 2003. Benefits of Green Buildings: A Report to California’s Sustainable Building Task Force. October. Internet address: Katz, 2004. Information on the EPA’s pollution reduction funding opportunities provided by John Katz (EPA Region 9; Pollution Prevention Coordinator, 415-947-3530). June 9, 2004. Kephart, 2004. Notes from a presentation Paul Kephart delivered to the Bureau of Engineering and City Architect of Los Angeles. May 18, 2004. Kerry, 2004. Patrick Kerry, Director of NW EcoBuilding Guild’s Greenroof Project on “Green Roofs”. Weekday. KUOW 94.9 Seattle. May 5. Internet address: LA DWP, 2004. Understanding the LADWP Bill. City of Los Angeles, Department of Water & Power. Internet address: LA EAD, 2001. City of Los Angeles: Energy Climate Action Plan. Environmental Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles. December. Internet address: 12-14_Climate_Action_Plan.ppt. LA SWP, 2004. What is Stormwater Pollution? Stormwater Program, City of Los Angeles. Internet address: Lee, 2004. Information on the process for determining the structural support necessary for a green roof provided by Hugh Lee (Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles; 213-847-8776). June 4, 2004. R-3 Liptan, 2004. Planning, Zoning and Financial Incentives for Ecoroofs in Portland, Oregon. Bureau of Environmental Services, City of Portland. Portland, OR. Mann, 2003. Personal communications with author on and Public Information Officer, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. June. Miller, 2003. Extensive Green Roofs. Whole Building Design Guide. November. Internet address: Mills, 2004. Information on California State Energy Commission funding of energy efficiency measures was provided by Daryl Mills (California Energy Commission; 916654-5070). NebGuide, 1996. How Soil Holds Water. Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Internet address: Oberlander et al, 2002. Introductory Manual for Greening Roofs. Public Works and Government Services, Canada. Internet address: gRoofs_wLinks.pdf. Peck, 2004. Steve Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities as heard on “Green Roofs”. Weekday. KUOW 94.9 Seattle. May 5. Internet address: Peck et al, 2001. Design Guidelines for Green Roofs. Internet address: .cfm&PageID=32570. Peck et al, 1999. “Greenbacks from Green Roofs: Forging a New Industry in Canada”. March. Internet address: PGE, 2004. HVAC/Food Service/Other Technologies Rebate Form: Cash Rebates for small and medium-sized business customers. Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Internet address: Poursabahia, 2004. Information on permitting process for a greenroof in Los Angeles provided by Sia Poursabahia (City of Los Angeles, Building and Safety, 213-482-0000). May 12, 2004. PSCGRR, 2004. Research. Penn State Center for Green Roof Research. Internet address: R-4 Roofscapes Inc., 2002. “Use of Vegetated Roof Covers in Runoff Management”. Philadelphia, PA. June. Internet address: Roofscapes Inc., 2002b. “Roof Media Selection”. Philadelphia, PA. June. Internet address: Roofscapes Inc., 2002c. “Benefits”. Philadelphia, PA. June: Internet address: Roofscapes Inc., 2002d. “A New Leak Detection Technique”. Roofscapes Inc. Philadelphia, PA. Internet address: Roofscapes Inc., 2004. Premier Automotive North American Headquarters. Philadelphia, PA. June: Internet address: Rosenfeld et al, 1997. “Painting the Town White – and Green”. Internet address: SC HGG, 2004. Southern California Heritage Gardening Guide. Internet address: Sedrak, 2004. Information on stormwater management programs in Los Angeles provided by Morad Sedrak (City of Los Angeles Sanitation District, 323-343-1577). Stryker, 2001. Drip Irrigation Design Guidelines. Internet address: Stoeckenius, T.E., C.A. Emery and D.R. Souten, 2001. Development of an Ozone Precursor Emission Reduction Credit Program Based on Urban Heat Island Mitigation Measures. ENVIRON International Corp., May 24. SWRCB, 2004. 2003 Consolidated Grants. State of California, Environmental Protection Agency, State Water Resources Control Board. May. Internet address: TerraServer, 2004. TerraServer USA, Microsoft Corporation. Internet address: UCCE, 2000. A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California. University of California Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources. August. Internet address: R-5 US GBC, 2001. LEED Rating System Version 2.0. US Green Building Council. June. Internet address: US GBC, 2003. Premier Automotive Group North American Headquarters, Irvine, CA. US Green Building Council. Internet address: Velasquez, 2004. Linda Velasquez, Founder of, as heard on “Green Roofs”. Weekday. KUOW 94.9 Seattle. May 5. Internet address: Weintraub, 2003. City of Los Angeles – Green Building 2003. Deputy City Engineer, City of Los Angeles. WRCC, 2004. Southern California Climate Summaries. Western Regional Climate Center. Internet address: Wright, 2001. The City’s Underutilized ‘Rooftop Real Estate’ as Power Plants, Sky Parks, Micro-Ecologies, and Urban Farms: Green roof Los Angeles. Green roof Los Angeles. January-July R-6 Appendix A Landscape Watering Needs Worksheet Worksheet for Estimating Landscape Water Needs adapted from UCCE, 2000 Step 1: Calculate the Landscape Coefficient (KL) KL = Ks x Kd x Kmc Ks = 0.2 Species Factor for Sedums; from Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCLS in UCCE, 2000) Kd = 1 Species density for full planting predominately of one species type; UCCE, 2000 Kmc = 1.4 Highest microclimate factor used to account for extreme rooftop conditions; UCCE, 2000 KL = 0.28 Step 2: Calculate Landscape Evapotranspiration (ETL) ETL = KL X ETO Los Angeles Daily ETO by Month; UCCE, 2000 Appendix A Jan Feb Mar Apr May 0.06 0.08 0.11 0.16 0.18 ETO = inches 0.017 0.022 0.031 0.045 0.050 ETL = inches days 31 29 31 30 31 0.521 0.650 0.955 1.344 1.562 Monthly ETL inches Jun 0.21 Jul 0.21 Aug 0.2 Sep 0.16 Oct 0.12 Nov 0.08 Dec 0.06 0.0168 31 0.5208 0.059 0.059 0.056 0.045 0.034 0.022 30 31 31 30 31 30 1.764 1.823 1.736 1.344 1.042 0.672 Step 3: Calculate Net ETL Net ETL = ETL - P*(PE/100) P = Precipitation PE = 50 Estimate of percentage of precipitation that is actually used by plants Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov P= 3.28 3.9 2.72 0.98 0.33 0.07 0.01 0.16 0.26 0.39 1.1 inches at LA 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.854 1.397 1.729 1.818 1.656 1.214 0.847 0.122 Net ETL = Step 4: Calculate the Total Water to Apply (TWA) TWA = ETL / IE IE = 90% Estimated Irrigation Efficiency for a drip irrigation system Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Monthly TWA = 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.949 1.553 1.921 2.020 1.840 1.349 0.941 0.136 inches Annual TWA = Annual Volume = Cost of Water = Annual Cost = 10.71 inches 1542 cubic inches of water per square foot $2.20 per HCF; LA DWP, 2004 $0.020 per square foot of green roof Dec 2.06 0.000 Dec 0.000 A-1