Advanced Green Architecture’s bio-diverse green roof design helps create habitat for birds, insects, and other invertebrates in urban areas.
Advanced Green Architecture (AGA), the green roof design and consulting company that developed Advanced Green Roof™ the most innovative and versatile green roof product, has created the first green roof to be certified as a national wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Advanced Green Roof™ – Built-Up system was used to create a complex landscape ecosystem that provides the necessary elements for a national certified wildlife habitat. In order to become certified, a property must provide the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young. In addition to providing for wildlife, certified habitats conserve our natural resources by reducing or eliminating the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and/or irrigation water, which ultimately protects the air, soil and water throughout our communities.
The bio-diverse green roof was installed at the Christian Reformed Church National Headquarters, located in Grand Rapids, MI. Over 20 different varieties of plants, varying soil depths, perching structures, and gravel swaths were installed on the green roof to promote wildlife habitat. “The higher diversity in plant species has the potential to produce higher diversity in bird and insect species found using the roof” said Jeremy Monsma, a green roof designer at AGA that specializes in bio-diverse green roofs. “Although you can’t recreate the exact habitat found on the ground, the goal is to mimic some of the habitat characteristics found in nature on the green roof. It is a very different concept than most green roofs which only incorporate sedum and provide very little in terms of habitat and biodiversity,” Monsma said.
NWF began the Certified Wildlife Habitat program in 1973, and has since certified almost 150,000 habitats nationwide. The majority of these sites represent the hard work and commitment of individuals and families providing habitat near their homes, but NWF has also certified more than 3000 schools and hundreds of business and community sites. The average habitat is between 1/3 and 1/2 acre, but certified sites range in size from urban balconies to many acres.