One of my favorite activities while on vacation is to workout in the morning. During those weeks where school or work is prevalent, there are pressing tasks that compete for your time. Being on vacation, you get to choose your own destiny at any time, and exercising rises high on the priority list for me, in a many situations.

During a morning run on my first full day in Prague, I headed to an exercise park I found online. It was 1.7 km (1 mi) from my hotel. It was already hot out but it was a good run and there were some outdoor exercise equipment there. I also sat down and talked to a local for a short while, which was nice. We planned to meet up later in the day as well!

Down the stairs, on the way out of the park, there was a land-bridge that led to a relatively large green roof and green wall.  I have noticed more green roofs than I’ve ever seen before in previous trips to Europe—this being the largest one. There was actually a yoga class in session on this roof, which you can see in the picture. This is also the first green wall I’ve seen in use. The only other green wall I’ve seen was on display at the World Fair/Milan Expo 2015. The display was meant to show what kinds of agriculture and new technology the country has in development that will contribute to feeding our future generations—which was the theme of the World Fair this year.  Green roofs seem like a great idea and in my opinion should be included in green-field design, and even considered as post-completion additions to buildings. One thing that someone may not realize is that a significantly larger roof load must be added when designing dead loads for a building, due to the soil, grasses, and extra structure needed to support the green roof. Rain will also be held within the soil, making that load larger as well. Although most of Europe have low seismic zones, this would increase the seismic loads on the building for areas where seismic design must be completed, such as on the West Coast of the U.S.

The building I came across today is actually one of the biggest shopping malls in Prague: Obchodní centrum Nový Smíchov (Nový Smíchov Shopping Center). The link will bring you to a short list of the technical aspects of the building. It states that this green roof is one of the largest in the Czech Republic. Another green roof/wall is west of the city center and may still be under construction. I may go visit it in the next day or so.

Fun fact: Green roofs in the modern age began development in Germany in the 1970s (Green Roof Technology).

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