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Green Roof New York City Vocabulary and Glossary of Terms


posted on
December 4th, 2012
written by
GreenRoofs
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Here is a basic glossary of terms used in connections to green roofs, roof top gardens and green walls from Green Roofs New York City and WePlantNYC.com

Capillary action: Attraction of water molecules to soil particles. Capillary action is responsible for moving water from wet areas of soil to dry areas.

Carbon Footprint:
The total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product.

Evapotranspiration: The amount of water emitted by a plant through evapotranspiration and transpiration. It is responsible for the transfer of water from the soil and plant matter to the atmosphere.

Extensive Green Roof: A low growing green roof system engineered for light weight and low levels of maintenance.

Green Living Wall: A system for growing plants in a vertical or sloped surface

Green Roof: A  system developed to allow plants to grow on the roof of a house or building without incurring any leaks or damage to the roof membrane that protects the building.

Intensive Green Roof: A thicker green roof system capable of housing larger plants. Intensive green roofs generally require irrigation and have certain structural needs because of their weight.

LEED: Acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A system developed by the US Green Building Council to quantity the level of environmentally sustainable construction in sustainable buildings.

Stormwater Management: Stormwater is an issue when it becomes surface runoff which flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers, then discharged to surrounding waterways. This  polluting them or overwhelms their ability to remove the runoff. Stormwater Management is a system developed to mitigate and or clean this stormwater that cannot soak into the ground.

Urban Heat Island Effect:
A measured phenomenon where a metropolitan area is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas.

Vertical Garden: A system for growing plants in a vertical or sloped plane.

VOCs: Volatile organic compounds are organic chemical compounds that evaporate or vaporize readily under normal conditions which may also be harmful or toxic.

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