Forget rooftop gardens. How about a rooftop farm?
Chances are you’ve heard of so-called rooftop gardens or green roofs. Green roofs are nothing new but they have been gaining popularity in recent years due to a public more concerned with the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. For those unfamiliar with green roofs, green roofs are so-called because they are literally green, not just green in an environmentally friendly sense. They’re green because plants actually grow on them. A green roof contains a layer of soil in which some kind of plant life can grow. The soil and plant life act as a natural insulator keeping the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than other roofing materials would.
Now, one Washington D.C. area business is taking green roofing to a whole other level.
A rooftop farm
Most green roofs aren’t gardens per se. They usually contain a ground cover plant that helps insulate the roof and collects and makes use of rain water but doesn’t produce any fruit or vegetable. Some green roofs are actually planted with vegetables and fruits so that they can double as a little garden.
Well Federal Realty’s Equinox Fitness building in the D.C. area is now the home of a full-fledged roof top garden complete with rows and rows of fruit/vegetable producing plants. Federal Realty teamed up with some local restaurants to pay for the rooftop farm which will supply many of the organic fruits and vegetables that those restaurants need to operate.
A successful experiment
Federal Realty’s rooftop farm was an experiment, one that has so far been successful. If the project continues to pan out, they plan on implementing rooftop farms on their other buildings as well. Perhaps this idea will catch on and we’ll see rooftop gardens on commercial buildings throughout the U.S.
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