New French Law Passed All New Rooftops Must Be Covered with Plants or Solar Panels
Cities are often described as ‘concrete jungles’. Full of cement, brick, steel and glass as well as thousands (or millions) of people, they definitely appear like a concrete jungle. But what about if the city (or even the country) you live in was ordered to become more beautiful or more eco-friendly? Well, that has recently happened in one European country. New French Law Passed All New Rooftops Must Be Covered with Plants or Solar Panels.
A roof garden or green roof is a garden on the roof of a building. Besides the aesthetic aspect, roof plantings can also provide food, temperature control and architectural enhancements as well as habitats for critters and insects and recreational opportunities. And, in a large scale, it may even have ecological benefits. While humans have grown plants atop buildings since antiquity, it has become less of a common practice in the race to create the biggest, tallest, flashiest structures. Plants have the unique ability to reduce the overall heat absorption of a building which reduces energy consumption. Aside from providing thermal radiation resistance, rooftop gardens also are beneficial in reducing rain run-off. Plants also help clean the air and filter gasses. And individual home-owners with rooftop gardens have the added benefit of being able to grow their own food in urban spaces where land is at a premium.
However, if you don’t like the idea of rooftop plants or gardens, the other option is to install solar panels, which are designed to absorb the sun’s rays as a source of renewable energy for generating electricity or heating. Currently the best achieved sunlight conversion rate is around 21.5%, however scientists predict that solar cells could eventually achieve efficiencies of up to 45-50% in the future. The benefits of solar energy include slowing down global warming but cutting down pollution and CO2 emissions, saving in energy usage and it is a renewable source of never-ending energy that will work even in the cloudy places of the world.
What all of this boils down to is environmental engineering, which is the integration of science and engineering principles to improve the natural environment, to provide healthy air, water and land for human beings and other organisms and to clean-up polluted sites. It also addresses the issue of energy preservation, production asset and control of waste from human and animal activities. Furthermore, environmental engineering is concerned with finding plausible solutions in the fields of public health and implementing laws which promote adequate sanitation.
The movement in France is called “sustainable law” and connects us back to nature, no matter where we might live. This law isn’t just applicable to large buildings, and incorporates small homes as well. Everyone is expected to do their part in the attempt to live harmoniously with our Earth, as it appears we were meant to do.
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