Alberta Ecoroof Initiative

Project
Alberta Eco-Roof Initiative

Location
Calgary, AB

Award Winner
Green T Design

Designer: Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design
Designer: Bob Thornton, Studio T Design
Supplier: Marie-Anne Boivin, Soprema
Supplier: Trevor Sziva, Soprema
Contractor: Stephen Teal, GRP, Flynn Canada
Building Owner: Neil Ubi, Innovate Calgary
Building Owner: Dave MacKillop, Innovate Calgary

The Alberta Ecoroof Initiative project is the green roof that I have worked most with. It has evolved over time and my understanding of its characteristics and benefits has grown. I intentionally call it an ecoroof because it is not green all of the time; the changes in the colours, the varying blend of plant species over the seasons and the habitat it created has been an interesting wonder to observe.
— Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design

A Showpiece of Research and Function

An organization and building that houses a mixture of tech start-ups and likens itself to an ecosystem sprouts green roof habitat to deliver ecosystem services. The project serves as a key component to Innovate Calgary's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, but also serves as an example of clean technology. The green roof provides a tangible example to educate staff and visitors and it acts as a tangible resource for peers in the field of living architecture.

It was ten years ago this summer that the first phase of planting was undertaken on top of the link building that connects two wings of the Alastair Ross Technology Center in the University of Calgary Research Park.

This project distinguishes itself from other green roof projects as being the only known green roof in Alberta to feature different systems side by side, varying by type and depth of growing medium, and plant species selection. In addition to the various systems trialed here, a two year stormwater study was performed which demonstrated the effectiveness of green roofs to retain runoff.

By using a variety of planting systems and monitoring their progress, we have been identifying types of systems and species that thrive in the Calgary climatic region, noting successful outcomes as well as shortcomings. The installations serve as a green roof botanical garden.

 Credit: Bob Thornton

Credit: Bob Thornton