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Green roof

It’s also called a eco-roof or a living roof. A green roof is a wild garden of grasses and herbs planted on a suitable surface, usually on an urban house. It traps rainfall and releases it slowly, so it helps to prevent the flooding that can happen after a storm in a built-up area. It also acts as extra insulation for the building. But its principal virtue is that it’s a haven for wildlife, especially beetles and spiders. In turn these provide food for birds — the black redstart has been encouraged to nest in one part of London as a result of green-roof construction. A recent survey for English Nature found over a hundred species of bugs, some of them rare, in a mixture not found in nature. This has led to the creation of tecticolous as a term to describe this characteristic group (from Latin tectum, a roof).

The building features a “Green Roof” built on top of the parking deck to provide additional outdoor space and help with storm water runoff.

The Capital Times (Madison, WI), 21 Sep. 2004

“It’s a remarkable thing, having a green roof,” says Jon Alexander, who can stand in his dining room and look out on his planted garage roof in Ballard. “There is this constantly changing show, including wildlife — birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 Sep. 2004

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 9 Oct. 2004

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-gre4.htm
Last modified: 9 October 2004.