Sustainable Solutions: Green Roof Retaining Walls for Buildings
Imagine living in a downtown cityscape that is nothing more than a typical concrete jungle – just skyscrapers lined with reflective glass and steel, sidewalks, and no meaningful green space in sight. Feeling trapped by endless streets and high rises, developers are finding new, creative ways to add greenery to urban landscapes. This condo tower project in Calgary, AB, called Stella Nova, installed approximately 1,500 sq. ft. (140 sq. m.) of CornerStone 100 retaining wall blocks, manufactured by local CornerStone producer Expocrete Oldcastle, to achieve an elegant, inviting aesthetic on its green roof. Deliver beautiful, landscaped park energy to offices and condo buildings with refreshing rooftop gardens built with CornerStone retaining wall systems.
Green Roof Retaining Walls for Urban Planning
Retaining walls can help achieve more sustainable, impactful urban planning, to build green roofs that offer practical and environmental purposes. CornerStone 100 retaining wall blocks have become part of many green roof structures in urban projects. Aesthetically, the timeless looking blocks help provide a simple and effective way to beautify unused property space.
The greenery’s airy atmosphere, installed by the experts at Saunders Landscaping, also gives residents a more natural environment to relax while surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers that shake up traditional city living. CornerStone 100 retaining wall blocks are perfect for green roof applications and multi-purpose functionality. With additions like hardscape lighting, corners, curves or extra drainage for water, these rooftop havens are elegant features – and easy to maintain. Green roofs bolster the building aesthetics, while residents enjoy the benefits of time spent in such beautifully peaceful settings. For more insight, check out CornerStone 100 Rooftop Planter CAD details here.
Rooftop Garden Retaining Wall Features
For the Stella Nova project and many others, CornerStone retaining wall blocks offer creative design options for green roofs and rooftop gardens. This can range from stylish, interwoven pathways to raised flower gardens that give the rooftop landscape a splash of color. CornerStone 100 blocks give designers and installers added versatility and exceptional drainage for long-lasting performance.
While solid concrete block systems are heavy to lift and can be cumbersome to move around, the CornerStone 100 hollow core block design makes handling and positioning each unit far easier. By using less concrete, the blocks are inherently lighter in comparison and shipping them is much less of a hassle for all parties. Plus, lifting them with a crane for use at heights is simpler and more cost-efficient, which helps developers and general contractors save on expenses. Learn more about how to install CornerStone 100 green roofs with CornerStone’s free step-by-step installation guides.
Water Considerations for Green Roofs
Whether it comes from the sky or from a hose to keep your rooftop greenery in pristine condition, water should always be accounted for when it comes to green roofs. For rainwater runoff, CornerStone 100 blocks have an enhanced drainage system with clear crush gravel filled hollow cores. This allows water to drain quickly from behind the wall and minimizes the likelihood of soil fines clogging drainage channels.
The blocks’ hollow cores even make it easy to maintain things like sprinkler lines to ensure rooftop gardens thrive. Another nice touch is to simply install lighting throughout the retaining walls or under the cap units to increase safety and also make the space enjoyable at all hours.
Environmental Gains of Green Roofs
Aside from the positive aesthetic effect of green roofs, there are numerous other benefactors to consider. Green roofs are gaining in popularity because they can improve the environment of cityscapes. One of their primary functions from this perspective is reducing heat island effect, a serious concern for environmentally conscious developers.
The premise of heat islands is that structures, roadways and parking lots absorb and retain heat, rather than natural ground cover which helps cool our atmosphere. Heat islands are unique to dense cities as they contribute to higher temperatures and air pollution levels than surrounding rural areas. Heat islands not only raise temperatures, but they can also lessen comfort and quality of life in urban centers.
The effects of a heat island can be mitigated through the use of green roofs, as they increase shade and promote evapotranspiration, two proven cooling methods that help our environment. CornerStone’s high-performance retaining wall blocks make it easy to incorporate these green roof and rooftop garden designs into your building projects.