I’m sitting in a coffee house looking out across the street and guess what I see.. Super flat roofs, wasted space basically. I look at the bakery across the street and think about how cool it would be if they had a roof garden. Once you made your purchase you could venture upstairs to eat your sweet treat and drink your coffee in the fresh air. Isn’t this space that you are paying for but not really using? Why not maximize your patrons experience by offering them an extra treat on a sunny day. In California this would be an almost year round perk. What about places like Arizona where it’s super hot during the day, wouldn’t it be nice to go to a restaurant when the sun had slipped below the horizon and sit up high where your away from the asphalt and possibly enjoy the breeze that might be blowing in?
Imagine what might happen if business’, apartment buildings or any other large scale building added green roofs to their design. I don’t know the ins and outs of how to make something like this work, but I know it can be done and that it has been done many times. So why aren’t more business’ looking into this “real estate”? Luckily some are.
Check out this restaurant in New York http://www.230-fifth.com/rooftop-garden.php
230 Fifth New York
This restaurant looks amazing and what a great way to add space, character and a little something extra to your business all while helping reduce carbon and cooling the temp around the city.
One of the biggest perks to the roof top garden is how they help cool the city/town around them. When large surfs are green/living, they absorb the heat and the suns rays before they have a chance to reach the pavement. Big deal right, well ya it is. Have you ever wondered why around 4PM on a day when it’s been hot all day long it seems to get a little hotter when it should be cooling off? Well heat gets trapped in the asphalt of our streets, roofs and in general all of the hard scape that makes up our urban jungles. Around 4PM the heat is still being released from all this cement making ground level temperatures still feel like it’s noon w/out a tree. Roof gardens help absorb the heat that normally gets trapped and uses it to help produce oxygen and grow.
For apartment buildings or other buildings without land space roof gardens would give the occupants/employees a place to enjoy fresh air and explore the joys of gardening. Now I’m sure most companies don’t want their employees spending a lot of time outside tending to a garden when their is work to be done inside, but everyone should have a break and what if you had 30 employees who spent their 15 min break gardening or just spending time outside. I might be a little nuts, but I would bet that you would end up with happier more productive employees who really take pride in their company, a company that cares and takes pride in their employees. I know it’s not always practical since a lot of people where suits to work and gardening in a suit sounds awful, but enjoying the garden could be done in a suit.
Alexander Deppert, Wikipedia Greenroofs.com
This building is pretty extreme looking, but the garden on top is pretty amazing. I actually like how the building looks like rock layers and then the garden sits on top. There are so many different types of roof gardens from this extreme green to the 230 fifth restaurant (photo above) to almost everything in between.
I think the coolest roof garden business I’ve heard of is from a restaurant in Chicago called Uncommon Ground’s you really should check out their website http://www.uncommonground.com/ This restaurant has their own organic garden on top of their restaurant. They pick the herbs & veggies that they use in their meals daily from their own garden, talk about using space! This is a picture of their raised planter beds on top of the restaurant. I’ve heard about other more rural restaurants that have gardens in the yard that supply the food for the restaurant, but this is so much more inventive and what a great use of space. Here is the link to the info about the roof garden on their site http://www.uncommonground.com/pages/green/24.php
A little something tasty from their lunch menu! So I’ve never been to this restaurant but this lunch menu, heck the menu in general is amazing! If your in the Chicago area look up Uncommon Ground’s or if you’ve been there please let me know if their food is really as good as it looks!
The California Academy of Science recently gave themselves a face lift. With this lift they also gave themselves an amazing green/living roof ! The whole things is amazing. I’m hoping to spend this Thursday at the museum, I’ll post some pictures! But you can check them out at http://www.calacademy.org/
here is a picture from the site, it shows a close up picture of the roof.
I love the idea of a green roofs taking over. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you were flying and looking out the window all you could see would be different shades of blue and green? Imagine how amazing the air quality would be, all these plants sucking up the CO2 and making oxygen all while keeping our houses cool during the summer and warm during the winter. I really don’t see a negative side at all. I’m hoping that we will be able to put a new form of green roof on our house, one that our foundation can support. If we are able to get this project started I will let you all know, ideas to actually getting it started are always hard.
Just a little extra info
http://www.asla.org/meetings/awards/awds02/chicagocityhall.html Chicago City Hall, green roof
http://www.wbdg.org/resources/greenroofs.php Really interesting site about the science behind roof gardens.