Working on green roofs, you hear an awful lot about Germany. Germany are perpetually referred to as pioneers in them. They’re not something that are special are unique, but something you take for granted. For example, it’s taken me until now to realise that I actually grew up in a house with a green roof for eight years, and that it’s something worth mentioning on this blog. A standard thing I helped my parents with once a year from the age of about six was to get onto the roof and weed it.
Bearing that in mind, I thought it would be quite interesting to have a look at some universities and cities from above, in Germany and in the UK, to demonstrate the difference in cultures. This isn’t a scientific comparison, but it does visually demonstrate striking differences between the two countries:
Putney, London, UK. There aren’t any visible solar panels, and the flat-roofed buildings do not have green roofs.
Basel, Germany/Switzerland. Looking over a residential area of the City, you can see around 5 large buildings with green roofs. Many of the smaller residential houses have solar thermal or photovoltaic cells installed.
University of East Anglia, UK. I chose to look at this University because of it’s reputation for Environmental Studies. I was surprised not to see any solar panels or green roofs.
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Almost all the buildings on this campus have either solar installations or green roofs. The library (red dot to the right of and a little above J) almost vanishes into the greenery from above due to the vegetation on the roof.
Reading University, UK. There aren’t any green roofs visible when looking at the buildings from above. However, the Carrington building does feature a large solar array.
Heidelberg University, Germany. Most of the roofs are green, with a low maintenance cover of sedum.
All of the images in this post are from Google Earth.