Sutton was instrumental in organizing and recruiting other authors as well as overseeing the technical edits. He also had the honor of writing the introductory chapter and co-authored the final synthesis chapter.
This highly collaborative book focuses on a whole suite of green roof ecological interactions and provides up-to-date coverage of green (vegetated) roof research, design and management from an ecosystem perspective. It reviews, explains and poses questions about green roof monitoring, substrates and various living components. Its authors also explore the abiotic, biotic and cultural aspects connecting green roofs to the fields of community, landscape and urban ecology. The work contains examples of green roof venues which demonstrate the focus, level of detail and techniques needed to understand the structure, function and impact of these novel ecosystems. It represents the seminal compilation of research and technical knowledge about green roof ecology and how functional attributes can be enhanced. The book delves into the next wave of green technology and defines paths for technological advancement and research.
The seventeen-chapter book took two years to develop and involved twenty-nine contributors from countries such as England, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Many of the authors include academic researchers, landscape architects and professionals associated with the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Research Committee.
Sutton said he would consider the book a success if design professionals started to integrate ecology into more of their work and possibly rethink the use of static patterns and sedum monocultures on green roofs.
"I would love it if this book inspired more researchers to investigate ways of improving green roof sustainability and designers to incorporate green roofs into buildings," commented Sutton.
Our urban world would be a little greener if more people employed the collective knowledge outlined in the book. A hardcopy has just been published and the digital version can be obtained online.