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This project is an attempt to improve the economic and ecological standing of Grand Rapids Michigan. By implementing the Green Roof initiative, the city of Grand Rapids will be able to decrease its energy consumption and the green roofs will also preserve the roof membrane longevity. According to (USEPA 2000) the waterproofing membrane on conventional dark roofs deteriorate rapidly in ultraviolet light, which causes it to become brittle and exposed to damage during the expansion and contraction caused by fluctuating temperatures. The Green Roof improves the longevity of the membrane by more than 20 years; this causes increased temperature stabilization and building energy conservation.
During the summer weather, green roofs can reduce the amount of energy used to cool the building. It reduces the amount of heat that is transferred from the suns UV light, which reduces the buildings dependency on AC units. Studies done in Japan, Singapore, and Ottawa saw reductions as much as 10% a day, 50% per year and 95% reduction in an annual heat gain (Saiz et al.2006) Green Roofs influence urban storm-water management because they make use of the existing roof space and prevent runoff before it leaves the building. The green roofs will store water during rainfall and delay its until after the rain’s peak, which allows the water to return more slowly to drains and land, reducing floods; Oregon and East Lansing Michigan showed that rainfall retention from specific green roofs was 66% to 69% for roofs with more than 10cm of substrate (Green Roofs as Ecosystems, Erica Oberndorfer).
The initial cost of the project will be on the building owner, but tax deductible. Through long-term exposure, however, the green roof will effectively pay itself off by means of utility savings through heating, cooling, and maintenance or repairs. An alternative means of generating funds for this project is to attach a small fee to the buildings personal or organizational renters.