Archive for the ‘#Toronto’ Tag

Your Roof: Once Black, Now Green – Meakin Armstrong – National – The Atlantic   1 comment



Toronto has been aggressive about it: they have a new, comprehensive green roof law, the first one in North America.

Like all laws, it’s complicated, but new building permit applications for residential, commercial, and institutional developments must now have green roofs. New industrial developments (as of April 30, 2012) will soon have to be green, also.

The law states a minimum roof size, so it doesn’t apply to gardening sheds. And the larger the roof, the greater the percentage of it will have to be green. People can opt out, but they have to pay toward a fund.

Efforts are already paying off: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is reporting that the law has resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on new commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential developments. It will also keep enough rainwater runoff out of the lakes and rivers to fill fifty Olympic sized swimming pools. It’s reduced the heat island effect and led to an annual energy savings of over 1.5 million KWH for building owners.

And there are still other benefits: opportunities for parks and recreational areas. Birds and bees do well with these changes. To get an idea of what these roofs can look like, here’s a collection of still images of green roofs around the world.

Other cities are trying to catch up with Toronto. New York City is in the midst of its PlaNYC initiative that’s encouraging green roofs, planting trees, and trying to improve the streetscape so to minimize the heat island effect for which the city is notorious: temperatures there can exceed rural areas by seven degrees. The first green roof in New York City, which is at a large post office facility in Midtown, saves its owners $30,000 in electrical bills.

What’s stopping people the world-over from having green roofs? Higher initial cost. Sometimes, higher maintenance cost or roofs unable to handle the weight. But proponents say electrical savings can help in those areas. Also because the roof is covered with waterproofing and a lot of dirt, the roof is preserved and tends to last longer. And more buildings are under construction that have been designed with green roofs in mind, like this refinery office in Rotterdam.

What’s next? Perhaps “blue roofs,” which preserve rainwater for recreation, like at Urbeach. Then, there’s this: what about green floors? Or Depave, a Portland group that rids areas of “unnecessary concrete?” ”

via Your Roof: Once Black, Now Green – Meakin Armstrong – National – The Atlantic.

Posted October 16, 2011 by arnoneumann in architecture, Green Roofs

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Doug Ford, the Idea Man | Toronto |   Leave a comment

Being an idea person has to be balanced with the need to be pragmatic. An architect may have a visual concept but the engineer needs to ensure that the structure can be built and the fiscal mind also needs to assure the feasability. The enthusiasm for novelty and innovation  is great but should  be tempered with that proviso. In a colourless world to let go and reach for the rainbow may  find that the rainbow has moved . Style without substance is always a void. Substance undergirds the confidence to move any idea forward. Will see….

” “Governments are going to be more and more required to pursue innovative solutions to meet public policy goals,” says Brian Anderson, an assistant professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business who specializes in entrepreneurial creativity and innovation. “Economies are more volatile, tax revenue is more volatile. It is not feasible to simply draw back into the well and say let’s just raise taxes.”

The overarching issue, however, is to stack up risks against rewards. Being able to generate new ideas is an important part of the entrepreneurial process, but it’s not all of it, says Mr. Anderson. An organization has to ask: does it create value for someone? Is it economically feasible? Is there a need for it? Is it really solving a problem and is it sustainable over the long term?

Whether it’s the boardroom, or a council chamber, the same principles apply. The difference with government, theoretically out to make decisions in the public’s best interest, is that there may be a lower tolerance for failure, says Mr. Anderson, and therefore perhaps more aversion to gambling on something new.”

via Doug Ford, the Idea Man | Posted Toronto | National Post.

Posted September 3, 2011 by arnoneumann in Toronto

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Steve Murray: My Spidey sense above Toronto | Posted Toronto | National Post   Leave a comment

Testing your vertigo on the new Toronto CN Tower EdgeWalk.

“There was a time when simply riding the exterior glass elevator to the top of the CN Tower was considered something of a daredevil act. That was before bungee-jumping and swimming with sharks became pastimes for the adrenaline-addicted. On Wednesday, CN Tower staff raised the stakes, allowing members of the media to experience the new EdgeWalk attraction. The Post’s Steve Murray must have annoyed someone in the newsroom, because he was chosen to take a walk on a thin ledge high above Toronto. He lived to tell the tale.”

via Steve Murray: My Spidey sense above Toronto | Posted Toronto | National Post.

Posted July 28, 2011 by arnoneumann in CN Tower, EdgeWalk, Toronto

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