By James Richings |
As we move further into the early years of the 21st century, there is a growing consciousness of the need to create more sustainable systems to maintain our society. Natural resources have for too long been exploited and utilized with little regard for posterity. Our cities and towns require large amounts of outside support, but there are many minds coming together to develop new plans and techniques to revitalize our civilization and reduce our environmental impact. One of the major trends leading this movement is to create change from the top down, and make our rooftops pull their weight ecologically and economically.
Solar Power – Austin Texas
The single most iconic tactic for greening our rooftops is the movement to install banks of solar arrays to provide for the building’s electrical demands. The technology for harnessing the sun’s rays has been available for many years and can be found in all manner of environments and in all sectors from industry, to finance, and even residential. In some regions such as Austin, Texas there is enough sun to create enough of an energy surplus to be sold to the local utilities. These make people cover all available surface such as this garage, Roofers in Austin TX have been working hard.
Harnessing the Winds – McCamley Turbines
While solar power is certainly more prevalent throughout the United States, rooftop wind energy is starting to come into its own. Many skyscrapers have made a token gesture of including wind turbines, but the technological demands have limited their practicality in most cases. That is all set to change however with the recent development of wind turbines no larger than a common tenement water tower. This development by McCamley UK Ltd will revolutionize theworld of wind power, and are perfectly suited for dense concrete jungles like New York City.
Cool Roofing – Thermelon
A large drain on resources is derived from climate control due to ineffectual rooftops that are not optimized to hold in heat when it’s cold, and let it out when it’s warm. Buildings are designed with an either or mentality, and maintaining comfortable temperatures often requires heating or air conditioning systems that drain electricity or require consumption of fuel. A new invention from the great minds at MIT called Thermelon will allow homeowners to have rooftops that give the best of both worlds. This amazing new material is a reflective white in warm temperatures, and transforms into a black material to absorb heat when the outside temperature is cold.
Air Conditioning Gardens – Chicago
While cool roof technology is great in a residential setting, shingles lack in practicality within dense urban areas. In an attempt to reduce climate control costs, as well as beautify inner city developments, rooftop gardens are springing up across the nation. These gardens absorb heat, purify and utilize rainwater to prevent toxic runoff, and create islands of green within the sea of grey.
Skyscraper Farming in the Skies – New York
Rooftop gardens are a wonderful step in the right direction for reducing the environmental impact that cities have on the world, but rooftop farming is the logical evolution for a more sustainable future. In New York City, there are projects underway to create sustainable hydroponic farms on top of buildings in Queens to bolster the local economy, as well as provide all of the benefits of aesthetic rooftop gardens while physically sustaining the community.
There are many ways that businesses and individuals can work to create a more ecologically sound future for all. Though many people are drawn to the most popular of causes in the quest for sustainability, it is of the utmost importance that the small details like intentional utilization of roofing are not lost.