Google and Facebook HQ designs reveal green roofs



An image (above) has been released of what looks set to become Google’s new California HQ. Named Bay View, the nine-building campus is designed to maximize the likelihood of innovation-friendly chance encounters between the workforce, reported The idea behind the roof design is to encourage productivity and innovation from Google workers.

Meanwhile Facebook has also revealed plans for a green roof on their new headquarters in Menlo Park in the Silicon Valley (below) so its employees can also enjoy the benefits of a parkland environment on their lunchbreak.

Facebook green roof

Bosco Verticale

Founder and CEO of Do it on the Roof, Dr Shelley Meagher talks about why Bosco Verticale inspires her:Bosco-Verticale-lead1

I feel exhilarated when I look at the image of Bosco Verticale. Thick, tall trees outside the windows at every level of the tower – how daring, how exciting. It’s a nature resort that is in the city. I can almost taste the cleansing feeling of the air underneath the trees in my lungs, I can see the leaves turning and falling in autumn outside my office window, and the birds swooping around the trees, mixing birdsong with the regular sounds of Milan.

Bosco Verticale lifts my ambitions because it shows us new possibilities. Most weekdays, I cycle through Albert Park, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and up the tram route through the reserves of Port Melbourne into the city.  Before I saw Bosco Verticale, I used to look at the empty rooftops of Melbourne’s skyscrapers, apartments and houses while I cycled and imagine them populated lightly with grasses, succulents, salt bushes, bees, birds, and the odd espaliered citrus or olive tree. These days when I look at the city I imagine some of its rooftops – and high-rise walls – thick with forests.

A few weeks ago the Bosco Verticale blog posted photos of oak trees being raised by cranes into the heights of the air for planting, their roots bound up in sacks as though they were the victims of some fantastical underworld assassination. I laughed. The whole Bosco Verticale project is outrageous. It’s a class act. Once it’s finished, my bet is that it will be coming soon to the heights of Melbourne. Time to revive our old distinction as the garden city.

Green Roofs for Melbourne’s CBD!

Greetings!  Welcome to the Do it on the Roof blog!

Our goal at Do it on the Roof is to transform the grey relief that you see when you look at Melbourne’s CBD at the moment into green relief. And as we all know, real estate is pretty expensive and there aren’t many vacant lots in Melbourne. But there is loads of space that no one is using at the moment – it’s all on the roofs of the CBD.  So we say, if you want to really make inroads into transforming the city’s grey relief into green relief, the only way is up!

To begin this exciting process we have used the magic of Photoshop to pique your interest…

225 Bourke St, Melbourne

Below you see an image of a relatively small roof on a 10 storey building in Bourke St. In fact it is the roof of the building which houses the Sustainable Living Foundation and the Centre for Sustainable Leadership. It has great views of some of Melbourne’s icons – you can see the top of the Eureka Tower, the Hyatt, and across to Melbourne Central.  As you can also see, it’s trying to pass itself off as a green roof – the roof has been astro-turfed! But there’s no vegetation here.  It’s really just another example of ‘grey relief’.

Now, imagine that this roof has been transformed into a true Green Roof and is covered in vegetation. Let your inner Green Roof guru run wild. What do you dream of seeing on this roof? Do you see trees? Are there native grasses? Are there vines shooting their tendrils up the sides of the surrounding buildings?  Could this become a place of quiet contemplation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city?

There’s so much talk about the loss of the city’s gardens, parks and green spaces – lets bring back the green to the CBD!
The greatest barrier to the creation of more green roofs in Melbourne’s CBD is perception of risks – not actual risks. Green roof technology exists and there is increasing evidence of the benefits of green roofs to buildings (reducing energy costs), the city (reducing storm water run-off and urban heat effect) and its community (increasing people’s well-being and urban biodiversity). But most of Melbourne’s existing green roofs are privately-owned, which means that relatively few people understand their feasibility and benefits. We need public green roofs so that as many people as possible can experience and enjoy them. This is where ‘Do it on the roof’ comes in, and we need your help!!

Let the campaign begin!!