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LPS Collection: Living Architecture

Curated by: Steven W. Peck


Steven W. Peck, GRP, Honorary ASLA, is the founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American green roof and wall industry association. Mr. Peck is also the Co-Founder of the World Green Infrastructure Network and publisher of The Living Architecture Monitor quarterly magazine. Since 1996, he has worked to advance the green roof and wall industry by facilitating research and demonstration projects, organizing conferences and workshops, building institutional capacity, lecturing, publishing, and advocating for supportive policies and standards at all levels of government.


Case Study Briefs

advocatelutheranAdvocate Lutheran General Hospital Patient Tower
Park Ridge, Illinois

“Views of the hospital’s intensive green roof helped reduced stress and make the hospital stay easier for half of cancer patients surveyed. This demonstrates how green roofs and other living infrastructure can help in the healing and coping process.”

underwoodUnderwood Family Sonoran Landscape Laboratory
Tucson, Arizona

“The southern exposure features a green façade of native vines, which shade and cool the building. This type of green wall offers a fairly low-cost way to beautify, screen, and add function to what would otherwise be disregarded space.”


garycomerGary Comer Youth Center
Chicago, Illinois

“This intensive green roof is a working garden that produces over 1000 lbs of organic food annually and functions as an outdoor classroom. The design showcases how green roofs can be integrated with other sustainable systems like light wells and passive climate control.”

klydewarrenKlyde Warren Park
Dallas, Texas

“Green roof systems can be used on a wide range of scales, from a residential roof to a multi-block, at-grade structure over parking or transportation infrastructure. This 5-acre green roof acts as a bridge, tunnel, and park all in one, transforming this part of Dallas.”

Fast Fact Library

The combination of green roofs and green walls can lower ambient temperatures in typical “urban canyon”-like streets, achieving up to a 12.8˚C (23˚F) ambient temperature difference in an arid climate, and 8.4˚C (15.1˚F) in a humid climate. This combination had the greatest effect compared to no vegetation, green roofs only, and green walls (walls covered in vegetation, such as climbing vines) only. Green roofs alone had the second greatest ambient temperature effect, likely due to roofs’ higher exposure to sunlight.

“This study illustrates how various forms of living architecture can be used together to increase impact.”

A green roof test plot at the University of Georgia retained 88% of precipitation for small storms (<2.54 cm), 48% for larger storms (>7.62 cm), and delayed the peak flow by an average of 18 minutes for 31 rain events between Nov 2003 and Nov 2004.

“This is one of many test plots and actual green roof studies that show how green roofs can significantly reduce the volume of stormwater runoff and delay peak flows.”

Benefits Toolkit

Green Roof Energy Calculator (v 2.0)
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Portland State University, University of Toronto

“Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) collaborated with researchers at Portland State University and the University of Toronto to develop this free, easy-to-use tool. For GRHC members, we also developed the GreenSave Calculator, which allows users to compare the life cycle costs and benefits of up to three roofing designs.”

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