As human population expands and buildings grow taller, the amount of green space in our cities is under constant pressure. We need green space because it is attractive, but also because it is good for the environment. Rooftops are not exactly the most attractive part of a building when seen from the air; it’s also not very functional if occupants can get onto the roof at all. That means there is potential to improve both attributes and many owners are factoring in a rooftop garden to new designs and redesigns.
A rooftop garden is nothing if not attractive. When we look at a city scape from above, we see grey, dull and ugly. This is a shame because a view of a city from the roof is often stunning. Why not create a desirable space on top of a building so people may enjoy the view from the top? A little greenery, a barbecue area and some chairs to sit and admire the view is often enough.
Rooftop gardens and green space reduce environmental impact of the building while improving the ecology of the local area – providing areas for wildlife such as birds. Even a small space of green on top of every building can improve the air quality, removing particles from the air. If everybody did it, the impact would be profound for local ecosystems and for our carbon reduction commitment.
People who live in a high rise apartment block have no garden space – typically, a window box at best unless they have a veranda. The best place and the only place to allow them to grow fruit or vegetables in the middle of a busy city is a rooftop garden. Just a small allotment should be enough for most people to grow some basics. Growing plants is very therapeutic and residents will certainly appreciate the freedom to do so!
Some environments in the US are becoming wetter as a result of climate change. As we encroach further into green land, we need more space for storm drains and more channels by which to get rid of excess water. A small rooftop garden may not take much water out of this network, but if a significant number of buildings had plants, trees and other green space that use water, that could add up to a significant reduction of the burden on our storm drain network.
Whether you are selling or renting office space or residential apartments, a rooftop garden is always a bonus and a great marketing feature simply because many buildings do not have that amenity. Knowing that employees can eat their lunch outside on a nice day without straying too far from the desk, or that residents can hold small parties in summer evenings is a luxury that most would be keen to utilise.
September 9, 2015