A Greener view

When the pace of life slows, people tend to become more observant. The recent announcement of the enhanced community quarantine was a necessary solution to stifle the spread of the COVID-19, and many Filipinos–me included–took it as an opportunity to stay at home, spend time with the family, and see the world pass through their windows.

However, as I peeked out my windows to survey the lockdown situation at St. Luke’s Medical Center, my eyes were bombarded by the heat radiating from the roof of a nearby lowrise supermarket. Because of my curtains and busy work schedule in the morning, I’ve been spared from that intense heat. But not any more.

I’ve never felt that direct heat before.The supermarket’s roof reflected the heat and glare of the summer sun directly into my condo unit. There’s no doubt that it’s a reason my room needs more air conditioning. With the rising seasonal temperatures mingling with thousands of home air conditioners running for almost 24/7, urbanites become stranded on an island of heat and discomfort.

This ‘urban heat island’ effect is caused by waste heat with nowhere to go. Generated by cars Bouncing from building to building, this heat accumulates and can cause temperature increases of 1-3C. It may seem like a small spike, but it is very dangerous. Heat exhaustion can occur at 37 degrees, and heat stroke at 40 degrees.

Cubesystem’s solution is the ‘green roof’. Aside from its food-oriented purpose discussed in a previous blog entry [insert entry here], green roofs severely hamper the intensity of the heat island effect. They regulate both indoor and outdoor temperatures, reducing a building’s cooling loads by 50%-90%.

Additionally, green roofs are low-impact. Almost any building can be built-to-spec or retrofitted with a green roof in mind. It also has the added benefits of filtering pollutants from the city air and retaining rainwater. Imagine every inch of that supermarket’s roof covered in vegetation. Imagine that square of green multiplying across the city. What you’re seeing is not simply a great idea. What you’re seeing is a better world.

Enjoy the view.