How Do You Use 30% of SF’s Total Land Area That’s Unused—Living Roofs

When you think about this, it makes sense. Thirty percent of San Francisco’s total acreage is up in the air—on the rooftops. It’s like another dimension of space we’re just not aware of or assume it’s got to be tar, roofing material and stainless steel stuff sticking out. According to the SF Planning Department these rooftops represent a gold rush of potential in generating economic, social and environmental benefits. The coined term for this new wave on top of roofs is “living roofs.” Living roofs are among a number of nouveau design and architectural approaches that take advantage of the sustainable nature of roof tops. After all roof tops are exposed to sun, sky and rain are like mini sky farms ready to be farmed or mini solar power plants, or as play areas, or just human-friendly open spaces with high-vantage, inspiring SF views.

Working with other city agencies the Planning Department has researched the best methodologies, up to date green building practices and the optimum site specific opportunities to convert existing buildings to living roofs and push living roofs on new building construction.

Part of the Planning Department’s outreach to SF citizens is its Living Room Manual. The manual presents an overview of the major policy, design, construction and maintenance issues involved with SF living roofs. (Click here to view the manual)

Additionally the Department is collecting information about any living roofs in development and has an array of fascinating case studies on their living roof page.

Click here to visit the SF Planning Department Living Roofs page.

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