AGA Creates Residential Green Roof


Advanced Green Architecture (AGA) of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Century Construction of Lansing, Mich., are bringing the AGA team’s green roof research to life atop a Holt, Mich.-home—viewable to visitors during the Greater Lansing Home Builders Association Parade of Homes on May 28.

Aaron Tobias, co-owner of Century Construction, has been interested in green roofs since about 2004 and was involved in the U.S. Green Building Council. After finding residential applications for a green roofing project, and then had a homeowner who was open to environmentally conscious building, he went to work to find the right company. He discovered AGA.

“I liked their research on sloped green roofs,” he explained. That research is being applied to the 2,250-square-foot sloped roof atop the new home being constructed in Holt. The home will have the proprietary, AGA developed Advanced Green Roof™ (AGR) system.

The AGR system is based on founders Erik Cronk and Jeremiah Johnson’s sloped green roof research at Michigan State University's Green Roof Research Program. Cronk and Johnson studied an existing sloped green roof with a failing south slope. During research, the team concluded that on a sloped green roof, moisture levels in the soil must be maintained in order to keep soil temperature levels cool enough to sustain healthy plants. Irrigation is essential, especially on south facing slopes, to create a long-term, sustainable plant ecosystem.

AGA developed its patent-pending Advanced Green Roof™ (AGR) system to include an integrated subsurface irrigation system using AGR Aqua-mat technology—a capillary retention mat placed in the bottom of each AGR module which helps retain moisture in the green roof system and spreads water evenly across the entire system through capillary action. Irrigation drip lines can be inserted through the AGR module to supply water to the Aqua-mat, making it directly available to the plant root zone. AGR's integrated subsurface irrigation is ideal for sloped green roof applications, delivering water to the root zone with no loss due to the high winds and direct sunlight experienced on a roof top environment.

And Tobias said he loves the benefits that the green roof will give—such as storm water retention, insulation and UV ray absorption. “My goal is to bring recognition to the use of green roofs on residential applications,” he said.

“We’re excited to see our research being used on this new home. Many people think sloped green roofs cannot be done and therefore think it is not applicable to residential structures. The AGR system was specifically designed for successful sloped applications,” said AGA co-founder Erik Cronk.

The Holt home also sports a geo-thermal system, hybrid foam spray cellulose insulation, triple-pane windows with foam filled frames, LED lighting and energy star appliances.

AGA’s other green roof projects include Rockford Construction Corporate Headquarters, 3900 Lakeshore Drive Condominiums in Chicago, the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) - a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, Newhouse Residence – its second Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation on a home and design studio in the Grand Rapids originally designed and built in 1978 as a passive solar, earth sheltered, low energy consumption residence and design studio ; the Catalyst Partners Office, LEED-NC v2.2 Platinum Certified project that was the most green building at the time of certification ; and Vision House LA.