Environment: More Green!

Monday, 4 February 2008, 14:00 | Category : environment, lifestyle, society
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A very interesting article I read in TIME (Jan 14, 2008 edition) was the increase of miniature parks on rooftops in U.S. cities. According to the article and a BioScience paper, these rooftop parks can reduce heat loss from a building by 50%, reduce air-conditioning costs by 25% and reduce heat retention of 2°C called the ‘heat-island effect’. Now the heat loss is irrelevant for our metropolis since we certainly do not need heaters here! but -25% in air-con costs! There was a recommended air-con temperature setting of 25°C for energy saving somewhere but I can’t recall where I saw it.

I avoid Silom Road as if it were infested with the plague as I find it is too polluted, I only go there if it is absolutely necessary. In comparison, walking along the Siam shopping area in Bangkok and Orchard Road in Singapore, the buildings are equally modern, however the lack of ‘green’ and air quality is vastly different. Other differences such as annual rainfall of around 2300mm in Singapore and 1500mm in Bangkok, in Singapore they seem to have consistent rain over the year washing away the heat, whereas we have something more seasonal, further details can be found at worldclimate.com. Not a really good comparison due to population density and geographical location.

However, Bangkok Mayors over the past decade have been trying to gradually ‘green’ our city. The current one I hear has been creating parks wherever possible. Since there isn’t much space in Bangkok to add more foliage along the streets, the rooftop solution certainly is more viable than knocking out half the buildings in the CBD to make way for trees. I am unsure of what the BMA can do to implement a rooftop greening program but I will email them anyway.

The full article from TIME can also be found here.

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