Thursday, September 23, 2010

Green Roofs

I was walking the pooch in my beautiful neighborhood recently, and I began to notice a trend. More and more houses had plants growing on top of them.  Not only did it improve the aesthetics of their homes, but practically, it makes great sense. Naturally, someone thought to give this type of garden an official name: "Green Roofs."

Green roofs are basically a contained green space on top of a human-made structure. In my opinion, they are completely the way forward. Check out all the benefits:

• Increased savings on heating and cooling energy costs. A 6-inch green roof reduces heat gains by 95% and heat losses by 26% compared to a conventional roof.

• Green roofs reduce the "urban heat island effect" -- the phenomenon of metropolitan areas being significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas, due to the heat-reflecting nature of concrete and other man-made materials and the release of heat from air-conditioning systems and machinery.

• Some wildlife can be sustained by green roofs. In densely populated areas, beneficial insects, birds, bees and butterflies can be attracted to green roofs.

• Rooftop agriculture can help mitigate the negative impacts of urban sprawl, ensure heightened food security, and engage communities in the food production process.

• Rooftop community gardens can help meet nutritional requirements and reduce household expenditures on food, while creating accessible meeting places and activity areas that can increase social interaction and community cohesion.

Read more.

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