What is BIV
Building Integrated Vegetation can offer the opportunity to create soft ‘green’ ecological building skins that work in cooperation with nature. BIV looks to maximize the inherent benefits that can be achieved from such a partnership.
a PLETHORA of benefits
Living Roofs Catch Rain
Vegetative roofs absorb & retain rainwater from winter storms through the engineered soil, retention systems and the living bodies of plants.
During heavy rains, the overflow manages stormwater runoff, reducing quantity and improving quality.
- Stormwater management
- Meet green infrastructure regulation
- Retention 60% to 80%
- Delayed post-storm event release
The Coolest of Cool Roofs
Having a thick blanket of soil & plants between the roof surface and the elements of the world provide an effective form of insulation for the building.
Keeping the building’s interior naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter saves energy and reduces operational costs.
- Passive cooling & heating
- Evaporative cooling via plant transpiration
- Modulates/mediates thermal temperature swings
- Non reflective surface - reduces atmospheric heating
Making The Air We Breathe
The living system of these rooftop ecologies work tirelessly to produce oxygen, sequester greenhouse gases and even conduct phytoremediation of some toxic pollutants and particles from the air.
Notably, this is the only building system that makes healthy air for us to breathe.
- Oxygen production
- Sequesters CO2
- Filters & bio-remediates airborne pollutants
Islands in the Sky
A diversity of species, from invertebrates to pollinators to birds, finds the rooftop a suitable environment for occupying.
Depending on the scale and scope of the project, a wide range of plant communities can be developed including rare native plants.
- Rewilding - Built ecologies - Wildlife habitat - Increase urban biodiversity
Guarding against the Elements
A living roof may only be several inches thick however; it protects and greatly extends the longevity of the roof’s membrane.
The plants & soil shield the membrane from sun and ultra-violet light, temperature extremes and pollutants.
- Increase longevity of waterproofing system
- No exposure to damaging UV light
- Temperature swings highly reduced
- Expansion-contraction of waterproofing minimalize
- Airborne pollutants filtered by biotic system
Bye-Bye Tar Beach
Roofs known as ‘black tar beaches’ can be transformed into ‘green living meadows’ with space for humans to occupy and take a respite with Nature. A building’s roof can be more than a waterproof surface.
- Asset of the building
- Increase property value
- Outdoor Green space in dense urban areas
A Carbon Garden
The vegetation, as well as the soil-media of the roof system, can process, capture and store atmospheric carbon.
These roofs can be employed to meet the requirements of California’s Global Warming Solution Act (AB-32) and help reduce GHG emissions.
- Sequester CO2
- Produces O2
- Living Roof 1000 SF = 39,683 lb CO2 / year
Rooftop soil composed with Biochar as an amendment increases carbon sequestering capability. See SYM-RTS-300
LEEDing the Way
Living roofs help many projects achieve award status for improved building performance or environmental mitigation compliance.
Sustainable Building Certification programs and rating systems.
- LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - USGBC
- SITES - Sustainable Sites Initiative - ASLA
- LBC - Living Building Challenge - ILFI
- WELL - Green Schools -IWBI
Water for Life
Keeping vegetative systems alive requires water. Drinking quality water is not require for or preferred by plants.
Rainwater harvesting or the reuse of gray/reclaimed water can all be gathered right from the building for use to irrigate and sustain life.
- Onsite Reuse
The Sky's the Limit
When architecture, engineering, technology, and ecology merge
into a unified vision, it reveals the sweeping potential for ecotecture
to be a regenerative force of a sustainable future.
Envision LIVING Architecture
Wine caves are neat but if there’s no mountain to drill into what can be done?
Utilizing building integrated vegetation (BIV) on above-ground winery facilities will improve their building performance, reduce operation costs while simultaneously benefiting the environment – locally, regionally and globally.
Thinking big when it comes to façade greening and you dramatically transform the ubiquitous lifeless urbanscape into a life-affirming garden city.
Vertical mass planting integrated into the building façade system (BIV) brings softscapes of greenery, increased biodiversity, air purification, oxygen generation and mental health benefits back to high- density city living.
Click to read article...
The desolate moonscape rooftops of large structures like parking garages or transportation facilities can be envisioned more like our earthy paradise.
Transforming once life-devoid built environments into sky parks that can be inhabited can reconfirm the relationship between the land and people.
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Built ecologies spanning across the divide of highways and railways offers a means to literally stitch Nature back together.
Terraforming bridges into living landscapes provide not only safe passage for migrating roaming mammals but heals the detrimental effects that resulted from animal populations being geographically isolated.
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Envision section photo credits - click for listing