Architectural choices can be included in Mormon arts, can’t they? I thought this was cool news about the LDS Conference Center’s greenroof.
A greenroof is a roof on which native plants, including trees, are planted. Such roofs buffer against harmful UV rays. They also keep structures cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They clean the air and process and control storm water run-off. They draw birds, butterflies, and bees.
I believe I heard a reporter on the TV report say that, in places, the soil on the Conference Center roof is four feet deep.
In the U.S., green architecture is gaining ground (pun intended). In his book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv reports that the Gap office building in San Bruno has a greenroof that, as Architecture Week says, “undulates like the surrounding green hills.” Louv says the roof “provides an acoustic barrier to nearby air traffic.” The greenroof of a furniture factory in Michigan collects and treats storm-water runoff.
Many more buildings in U.S. and European cities are beginning to incorporate natural systems, including rooftop gardens, into their architectural designs, resulting in impressive savings in energy and in money. Having here and there touches of natural beauty also provide psychological benefits for people who live and work in cities.
The Conference Center isn’t the only greenroof the LDS community can boast of. The underground addition to BYU’s Lee Library has a greenroof, and, though I don’t know much about it, BYU’s new humanities building looks to have something of a greenroof, too.
Kudos to the LDS Church for investing in such a wonderful project and congratulations on the award. The Conference Center offers tours of its rooftop wonderland; I hope to take several, because unlike common roofs whose angles and planes change but little, the Conference Center’s roof will bloom with the season. Cool! And warm.
I’d love — love — to write about this roof.