Growing a Green Roof Movement in America

Metropolis blogger Joseph G. Brin interviews Charlie Miller, P.E., of Roofmeadow, to find out why green roofs have been slow to catch on in the United States.

1 minute read

February 27, 2012, 7:00 AM PST

By Anonymous (not verified)


While Charlie Miller, P.E. may be an internationally recognized green roof pioneer, his Philadelphia operation, Roofmeadow, is modest. Joseph G. Brin sits down with Miller to ask why green roofs are such a hard sell in America. Miller laments:

"It's hard to sell simple, elegant ideas. People [Americans] are in love with technology."

Miller was, himself, once a skeptic of green roof technology, but a 1997 trip to Germany set the engineer/geologist on a new course. Over the past 15 years he has labored to make, what he calls, "lifted landscapes" palatable to Americans through the combination of design, policy, and science expertise offered by his firm. The primary obstacle, he points out, is the liability of heavy, potentially leaky landscapes atop buildings, particularly older structures.

Sharing in Miller's frustration over the slow progress of the American green roof movement, Brin suggest we reach out to the Germans:

"Couldn't they just send us a .dxf (CAD) file of their favorite roof section?"

Thanks to Jessica Brent

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