Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sky Garden atop SM North Edsa mall in Quezon City

Photo courtesy of Arquitectonica

Roofs are usually used and thought of as a shelter, a kind of protection from any harm, danger or natural calamity. But do we know that there are other uses of roofs? Scientists, landscape architects, builders and property owners have learned the many benefits of roof gardens. Roof Gardens have been around for centuries and has been adapted by many countries, but still a fairly new concept in the Philippines.

Apart from their aesthetic qualities, these gardens have been proven to reduce temperature around the area where they are built, providing a cooler sanctuary in the midst of sweltering urban jungles. Described as “nature on superstructure,” a roof garden is a building rooftop covered with vegetation.

Another no-so-familiar concept is urban heat island, an area significantly warmer than its surroundings. About Home defines:
Urban heat island (is) the increase in temperature that's found in virtually all urban areas. Solar radiation warms up concrete, asphalt and other man-made materials much faster and hotter than it warms trees, plants and greenery. The result is a big zone of hot air -- a heat island -- surrounding urban environments year-round.
Photo courtesy of Arquitectonica

A highly urbanized city is a perfect candidate to be an urban heat island. Apart from the discomfort caused by high temperature in these areas, this can also result to several other problems such as high power consumption, health problems, and water quality loss. This is more evident during the summer season when temperature can rise above the normal. Humidity and very warm weather can also happen all year round, very unpredictable, when we least expect it.

A roof garden can prevent flooding by absorbing rain water; it responds to climate change and reduces global warming. This kind of a green structure also saves on cost of the building, with a roof garden’s life cycle lasting up to 40 or 50 years. It also enhances the value of the property by as much as 10 to 20 percent according to a study.

Photo courtesy of Arquitectonica

The vegetation provided by roof gardens help counter these degenerative effects. SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Supermalls) is helping bring the benefits of roof gardens to the public through its Sky Garden. First introduced in SM North Edsa (Quezon City, Philippines) formally launched on May 29, 2009, SM’s Sky Garden lets customers experience the relaxing ambience of an oasis atop the mall and away from the busy thoroughfares of the city. This was also created at SM Aura Premier in Taguig City.

With its 400-meter breathtaking architecture and design of the Sky Garden, customers would surely enjoy a greener environment in a highly-urbanized Metro Manila.

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