Human-Driven Extensive Greenroof Design

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Virginia Tech


Throughout history, utopian ideals have existed promoting nature as a necessary affect for better aesthetic and psychological being.

Yet, as human populations climb so do stresses upon the natural environment - therefore, bringing "the city in harmony with nature" becomes more challenging. Fortunately, hope exists through the use of greenroof technology.

Greenroofs are a green space created by continuous layers of drainage, protection, growing medium, and plants either onto or integral to a roofing system. This paper explores extensive greenroofs, characterized by low-maintenance and shallow growing medium.

Greenroof benefits (ecological, economical, aesthetic, psychological) are classified as: Market and Human. Further exploration of human-driven benefits result in the definitions of active and passive sensation (the division of sensation): Active sensation is the immediate, present, unimagined engagement of a specific sense. Passive sensation is the imagined perception (sensing) of an object or element. As defined, Active Sensations are real and, therefore, have limits/defects/boundaries; yet, Passive Sensations are imagined, and therefore, limitless. As alluded by William James, "The philosophy which is so important in each of us is not a technical matter; it is our more or less dumb sense of what life honestly and deeply means. It is only partly got from books; it is our individual way of just seeing and feeling the total push and pressure of the cosmos."

The remainder of the document explores human-driven greenroof design; emphasizing design as a form of inquiry.



Human-Driven Design, Extensive Green Roof Technology