A Roof for the Birds:: Creating habitat on the Portland Mausoleum roof

This is my comprehensive project that I completed in my final year of the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Oregon. The two-term project was the culmination of my educational career and I wanted to choose something meaningful that would relate to my main interest of creating and designing urban wildlife habitat. I started to ask around and very quickly a project fell into my hands from Mike Houck, the Executive Director of the Urban Greenspace Institute in Portland. He has been responsible for creating Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as well as a giant mural on the side of the Portland Mausoleum that overlooks Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and had been interested for some time in creating a green roof for the building. I was lucky enough to also consult with Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director for Portland Audubon as well as Tom Liptan from the Bureau of Environmental Services,…

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Dusty Gedge & Biodiversity Ecoroofs

This week was a very exciting week in Portland, Oregon because the city brought in ecoroof expert, Dusty Gedge. Along with Stephan Brenneisen they are two of the leading experts in creating ecoroofs that are aimed at biodiversity instead of only stormwater management. Both have written many good articles and designed many roofs in the U.K. and Switzerland.

The city of Portland just finished off Ecoroof Portland month, which included an event two weeks ago with vendors and many speakers. This week included two talks with Dusty and an ecoroof design charrette that I was lucky enough to be invited to and participate in, also with Dusty. The city of Portland is really moving forward the biodiversity effort and now including incentives for building owners to install ecoroofs on their buildings.

Dusty Gedge is the co-founder of Livingroofs.org and has been instrumental in creating habitat…

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Case Study:: Sihlpost Platform at Zurich Main Railway Station

There’s a fascinating project in Zurich that is integrated with a major railway. While planning an expansion to the railway, it was discovered that the area was a sensitive habitat area and they had to come up with a creative way to avoid disturbance. The area alongside the tracks had developed it’s own unique, desert-like habitat that was being used by a variety of species including insects and lizards.

The solution was to built platform roofs and move the habitat to the rooftop. The roof has many elements to providing diverse habitat including varying substrate depths for a variety of vegetation. There are also small mounds to provide some relief from the elements. Alongside the roofs are ‘lizard ladders’ which are mesh boxes filled with rocks as well as planted fences to provide access to the roof tops for the variety of species that use it.

Within a year of completion…

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