- June 27, 2012
- Comments Off on Rooftop Gardens, More Than Just Beauty
- Posted by admin
- Inspiration, Sustainability
Rooftop Gardens, More Than Just Beauty
Multi-use roof spaces are seen more and more frequently in urban environments, including big cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. People who occupy the buildings are making an effort to utilize that space, whether it’s a residential or commercial building.
Urban gardeners can use their rooftops for planting various shrubbery, fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. Commercial uses may be of a similar nature, adding in a flair for recreational activity, like relaxing in a chaise lounge and enjoying an evening cocktail with a co-worker. It makes perfect sense. Living in a city of skyscrapers doesn’t facilitate much ground-level planting. When spending the majority of your waking hours in a concrete jungle, it’s justifiable to want to breathe some life into the roof.
Whatever may be the motivation for a rooftop garden, it is providing many benefits to the people and area surrounding it.
Aside from the aesthetically pleasing aspect of roof plantings, there are other wonderful benefits, such as providing nourishment, temperature control, environmental sustainability, architectural improvement, and leisurely opportunities.
From an environmental standpoint, rooftop gardens are capable of lessening a building’s overall heat absorption, which in turn lowers energy consumption. The National Research Council of Canada determined through studies that “if widely adopted, rooftop gardens could reduce the urban heat island, which would decrease smog episodes, problems associated with heat stress and further lower energy consumption.”
In addition to diminishing the effects of thermal radiation, rooftop gardens also reduce rain run-off, which is a major problem for many cities in the United States and Canada. The solution is to control the flow of runoff on roofs by using rain detention basins, which can be accomplished by rooftop gardens. This run off can be put to good use by plants.
Rooftop gardening is such a valuable project for New York that they have a whole Facebook page dedicated to it: New York Rooftop Gardens. This page is a great resource if you’re interested in creating your own!