Designing a low-maintenance vegetated roof

Throughout Canada, there are many beautiful, living vegetated roofs dotting urban landscapes that require care. Creating these green roofs is not only an esthetic choice, but also a major maintenance commitment. Some municipalities and cities, such as Toronto, require rooftop maintenance plans in order to obtain a vegetated roof permit.

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Glazing technology promises greater architectural freedom

One of the strategies employed by architects to increase (or regain lost) glazing area to meet the performance objectives of building energy codes and standards involves using established building envelope elements such as window louvres, fins, and shelves, along with emerging technologies such as vacuum-insulated glazing and panels (VIGs) and electrochromic (EC) glass.

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The community health centre of the future

With an aging population and an unmanageable burden on most hospitals, the community health centre is an increasingly in-demand neighbourhood resource. Stretched regional and non-profit finances mean these new facilities are often asked to do double (or triple) duty, accommodating many needs and user groups. The challenge then falls to design teams to successfully integrate disparate building requirements—often under a tight move-in deadline determined by grant and funding deadlines.

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Freestanding roof guard woes

HVAC equipment is generally installed on top of the flat roofs of industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings. The maintenance personnel sometimes are exposed to danger of falling if the units are close to the roof’s edges. In this case, a guardrail system is required. How do you know if it is sufficiently structurally secure?

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