Monday, July 07, 2008

Plant Your Roof and Win a Prize

Illustration from University of Toledo,
Emerging Applied Construction Technologies

Bexar Audubon Society is proud to announce cash prizes for the two "Best Vegetated Roofs" finished in the year ending April 18, 2009.

A vegetated-roof is just what the name implies, a roof covered largely or entirely with plants. Such rooftops are one of the most promising trends in urban conservation, for residential, commercial and public buildings.

Buildings with such roofs incur lower heating/cooling costs. We all can benefit from the resulting reduced demand for energy, reduced heat-island effect on urban weather, cleaner air, and expanded habitat for birds and beneficial insects.

Additional potential benefits for business include increased customer traffic; more usable business space (rooftop break areas, snackbars and boutiques); even tourism (think about the famous "Hanging Gardens of Babylon").

Some cities have already advanced this concept a long way. Chicago, for example, has over a million square feet of vegetated rooftops, including city hall. There are even a few examples here in San Antonio, but our potential has barely begun to be tapped.

To encourage local building owners, architects and builders to step up their vegetated roof games to the next level, Bexar Audubon is offering a first prize of $2,000 for the building owner or renter who finances construction and $500 for the primary creator (designer or constructor) of the best vegetated roof. Second prize will be $1,000 and $250.

Any new or existing building -- public, industrial, commercial or residential -- in the Bexar Audubon area (Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Bandera, Wilson, Atascosa and Medina Counties) is eligible.

There is no minimum size, but roofs must be “substantially” vegetated, i.e., enough to make a significant difference in energy waste, heat island effect and/or human or wildlife use. A panel of judges chosen by Bexar Audubon Society will make an on-site inspection, plus follow-up visits as needed, during July-August 2009. Judging will be based on a holistic impression of each roof’s effectiveness, attractiveness and creativity. Judges’ decisions are final.

Applications will be accepted from April 18 to June 30, 2009. Forms will be at by April 18, 2009. There is no fee, but photos and a brief narrative are requested.

Announcement of winners will be made by Sept. 30, 2009. Presentations will be scheduled by mutual agreement.

For details, see


sailor said...

What a great idea, this is something I would love to see spreading all over the world. Here where I stay most of the building roofs are just cluttered with television antennas etc.

Imagine if this could be implemented in apartment buildings. You will be able to take your children to the roof to play in the garden.

CyberCelt said...

@sailor-We have the knowledge, the technology and the need. Whether we do something with these blessings will remain to be seen. Thanks for visiting.

EPDM said...

Oh its really a great Idea. Although I a business minded person and a business man... I deal in repairing roofs and leaking roof problems so this idea certainly grabbed my attention regarding roofing..

Good Luck...

jnet said...

This is an ideal encouragement to homeowners to have a vegetated roof. Reading this post gives me some ideas on such roof could give a lot of benefits to people. For some more home improvement ideas, you can check this site guys:

Anonymous said...

Its really a great idea i must say this is really good. I will try this at my own home. One thing i must do grow some vegetables and save some money. I am plumber by profession i think if this work is done properly then you can see a leakage from roof. So this should be done with proper care and good knowledge. I am working for the epipe company so i know these things better.

rosie said...

what a totally cool idea, does anyone know if this works, i would be concerned about leaks or other damage to the roof or even the membrance below from the roots.


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