ArchiWEB Explorer: North America

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How Vegetative Roof Systems Work

The trend of sustainable architecture  is growing in popularity. While there are many different techniques and designs incorporated in these more eco-friendly facilities, one of the most impactful is the vegetative roof system.

What Are Vegetative Roof Systems?


Vegetative roof systems are also known as living roofs, or more commonly, green roofs. As the name suggests, vegetative roofs are a design in which plants are used to create a green space on top of a building. Typical green roofs consist of multiple layers, including a durable waterproof foundation, a root management system, drainage layers, and some type of growing medium. While some people choose to grow vegetation in large containers on top of roofs, true green roofs are those that are physically part of the roofing system.

Vegetative roofs are already well known in many European countries thanks to their government’s efforts in education, promotion, and financial support. Unfortunately vegetative roofs remain fairly unpopular in North America, simply due to a lack of exposure to this design.  The green roof is not only an innovative idea, but a time-tested method of bringing a significantly positive impact to both residential and commercial roofing.

Johnston Marklee

Johnston Marklee
UCLA Warner Graduate Art Studio renovation and addition . Culver City Johnston Marklee Johnston Marklee receive an Acknowledgement prize in the LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 for North America. _ Addition to and adaptive reuse of a former wallpaper factory using elemental construction for the Graduate Art Studios at UCLA in Culver City, California. The project’s basic … Continue reading Johnston Marklee

Ryoji Ikeda: a survey - An art report from Montréal by John Zeppetelli

On the occasion of the Japanese artist's first survey exhibition in North America at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, curator John Zeppetelli guides us through Ikeda's fascinating, precise work.

Sustainable infrastructure: the Zofnass (En)vision

he largest indoor sport fish hatchery in North America is the first ever recipient of the EnvisionTM Gold award for sustainable infrastructure. The award ceremony that honored the William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery of Anchorage Alaska was the culmination of 6 years of collaboration by the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the GSD with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure to create a rating system for infrastructure sustainability. It also marked the start of a new phase in implementing the Envision standards on a wide scale.

The Biggest Hospital in North America to Feature a Green Roof with Medicinal Herbs

Cannon Design, NIPPaysage, Montreal CHUM hospital, green roof building, LEED Silver hospital, ecological design, large scale green project, medicinal herb roof, energy conservation

By 2018, the Montreal skyline will feature a bit more greenery. This isn’t because buildings are being torn down and trees planted, however, but because one of the biggest construction projects ever undertaken in the city will have seven different green roofs. It’s called CHUM (an acronym for Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, and pronounced “shoom”), and by the time the rooftop gardens are completed, it will be the largest hospital facility anywhere in North America.

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Spectacular Skyscraper in Canada by Foster+Partners

Jameson House is an unique and spectacular skyscraper which offers an architectural legacy to Vancouver, Canada. This mixed-use residential project is a result of a team effort of Foster+Partners architects and a clear commitment to sustainability, architects working closely with environmental engineers. Jameson House develops a number of key themes that have been integral to Foster+ Partners’ work for many years, demonstrating innovation.