green roof: lay claim to your space
Roof Meadow is a low-cost, hand-built, non-regulation, yet city-permitted “live roof,” also known as a “green roof.” Roof Meadow extends insect and human habitat to the roof via plants, a greenhouse and an outdoor sleeping structure. Roof Meadow is approximately 1000 square feet and it cost under $1500, including materials and paid help, to construct. This green rooftop has plants growing out of geotextile that has been handsewn into “pillows” and stuffed with soil. As such it is modular: plants may be moved around to suit aesthetic and practical goals. This green rooftop also effectively re-uses scrap yard materials and other repurposed items. For instance, chamomile and native prickly pear grow in repurposed photo processing trays.
As municipalities around the world recognize not only the environmental, but also the economic benefit of rooftop gardens, some of them, such as London and Chicago, are offering tax write-offs and even stipends for individuals or organizations that cultivate green roofs. Especially in cities with flat rooftops, a green roof can effectively utilize rainwater, minimizing water runoff issues. Additionally, green rooftops cut down on the “urban heat island” effect, and further insulate buildings from summer heat and winter cold.