Bruce Dvorak has conducted green roof research since 2009.
Some cities have built green roof pilot projects, adopted incentives for using green roofs or even require their use, said Dvorak, who has conducted interdisciplinary green roof and green wall research atop Building A of the Langford Architecture Center on the campus of Texas A&M since 2009.
“Although they’ve been popular across Europe for the past few decades, there is much to be learned regarding which plants favor rooftop environments in North America’s diverse ecological regions,” Dvorak said.
The literature review puts forth a broad, large-scale vision for making North American green roofs more bio-diverse and more regionally appropriate.
“Post-construction evaluations and results of North American green roof projects could help accelerate knowledge of field performance and strengthen project guideline and policy development,” said Dvorak, whose research interests also include sustainable design, planning and construction.
Texas A&M Recognized Nationally For Sustainability Efforts
The comprehensive findings of scholarly literature on green roofs and walls were undertaken by Dvorak and Astrid Volder, a former associate professor of horticultural landscape ecology at Texas A&M, who is now an assistant professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis.
To investigate which plants have been tried in North American green roof projects and the ecological implications of those attempts, Dvorak and Volder reviewed green roof research papers published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at refereed conferences.
Because few of the projects they reviewed used widely accepted benchmarks set by the Association of Standards and Testing Materials (ASTM) or those of a well-known German landscape research society, the researchers found that many project results are difficult to interpret and less helpful in building a larger body of knowledge.
In concluding their review, Dvorak and Volder recommended that green roof investigations follow ASTM or other established benchmarks and that additional green roof investigations take place in several hundred ecoregions in North America.
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