My dream is for every large flat-roofed building in every city worldwide to have a green “living” roof and solar panels and be energy-efficient. This is a big dream that will not happen in my lifetime but maybe someday. I know it is not practical but I wish it was mandatory for every new commercial building to be required to have at least these two innovations. If at least government (tax supported buildings) could be required it is a start. A little bit of that dream got realized with the Lincoln Square public housing building undergoing renovations…
(I am copying and pasting the whole story into my blog as I want to make sure the story is accessible in the future and since sometimes the Herald deletes or makes stories “no longer available” it was important enough to not just put in the link)
BELLINGHAM – The green makeover of Lincoln Square will include the largest green roof in Bellingham and the largest solar installation in Whatcom County.
People can see for themselves during a tour and celebration Thursday, Sept. 22, that has been dubbed “Lincoln Green.”
Located on York Street, Lincoln Square is one of three high-rise buildings that serve as public housing and are undergoing renovations, thanks to more than $9.9 million in federal stimulus money.
The other two apartment buildings getting makeovers are Washington Square and Chuckanut Square.
They total 396 units in Bellingham. All are properties of Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authorities and all were built from 1969 to 1971.
The project to make them more water- and energy-efficient began October 2010.
At Lincoln Square, that looks like a green roof – made up of three sections – totaling 6,200 square feet, and 90 solar panels that will generate up to 21,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, covering 3 percent of the projected annual electricity use at Lincoln.
People who go to the Thursday event will be able to tour the green roof and see the solar panels, and learn about both from experts.
The green roof was installed by Hytech Roofing of Lynden.
People can learn about the engineering and design of green roofs, suitable waterproof membranes and drainage, what materials to select including for plants and soil, and how to maintain such roofs.
Green roofs are beneficial because they reduce runoff, reduce outside noise, help purify air and insulate buildings, according to Hytech.
And they help to “purify the water before it goes into runoff,” said Mariah Ross, sustainable business development manager at the nonprofit Sustainable Connections, which is helping the housing authority educate the community about its green renovation projects.
Lincoln Square also will be home to a living green wall that will be covered with vegetation. That project, along with a rain garden, is in the works.
“It will be beautiful,” Ross said. “It will be this gorgeous, green plush wall.”
Sustainable Connections is also teaching residents about green living because as much as half of a building’s energy performance is linked to the behavior of occupants or management, according to the nonprofit.
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