What Drives Us
- October 14th, 2015
- General, Living Roofs, Living Walls
‘Connecting the Living and Built Environments.’
This is GINKGO’s motto, and the pursuit of this connection is what drives us at our company and our employees. As cities expand and green spaces disappear in today’s modern age, our relationship with the environment has become strained as we have reduced nature’s role in our lives. Many people have lost sight of how green spaces impact us and how they improve our health and well-being.
Our mission at GINKGO is to introduce the living environment back into our built spaces. We will utilize the space available in urban centres to connect the living and built environment.
History of Green Roofing
The use of vegetation in a building is not a new phenomenon and has deep historical roots. The reconstructed Viking longhouses found at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland and the sod houses constructed by settlers on the Canadian Prairies in the nineteenth century showcase our forbearers’ use of green building methods.
Green roofing technology has evolved substantially since those first forays. Still, the principle remains the same – vegetation is used to provide insulation for the building while absorbing rain and snow. A renaissance in living roofs occurred in Germany in the 1960s when modern vegetated roof systems involving root barriers and water retention layers were developed.
History of Live Walls
Living walls, also known as green façades, have existed throughout history. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon or various civilizations using climbing plants to cover the outside walls of buildings are examples. The modern technology behind green walls developed substantially over the twentieth century. Like green roofs, vegetated walls insulate buildings and absorb moisture while creating beautifully landscaped areas.
Connecting the Environments
The application of modern green roofing and living wall systems increases as people recognize the practical and economic benefits they offer. These benefits are particularly noticeable with the flat roofs prevalent on modern buildings.
Flat roofs with large surface areas unnecessarily increase the energy costs associated with the building while negatively impacting the surrounding people and environment. Flat roofs also increase the ambient temperature and remove green space. Green space is necessary to filter out the numerous pollutants found in the urban environment. They also benefit people’s physical and mental well-being. Green roofs and living walls have multiple practical uses, from urban rooftop community farms to growing fresh herbs in kitchens.
What Drives Us?
The green building industry in Canada has not reached the level of market penetration seen in Europe, which GINKGO hopes to remedy. Our mission, ‘to connect the living and built environments,’ has driven us to become Ontario’s leading green roof installer. However, there is still vast potential for market growth in the living roof and living wall industry. Green roofs and green walls make our cities, workplaces, and homes healthier and more environmentally friendly. GINKGO aims to be an advocate and leader in the drive to make Canadian buildings more eco-conscious and efficient. That’s what drives us.