Contributing Monkie Boise Thomas
Published on December 17, 2009
With the Studio lit, furniture in place and The Real G up and running in Room 101… there’s only one thing left to do: Green the Roof! The roof is already pretty “G” with solar panels, a wind monitoring device (surveying the best location for our wind power) and water runoff going into our gardens. But there is more we can do?
In the old days, big city rooftop gardens were found mostly atop hotels or in the apartments of the elite few who could afford greener pastures in lands of concrete and glass shadows. But today’s rooftop garden industry has gone mainstream: now you, too, can take back the slates, tiles and shingles and exchange them for soil, bulbs and brush.
The units are genius: made of recycled materials, they interlock together and can be customized with whatever plants you want. While there are some structural requirements necessary to put them on your roof, they are a great addition to any space. Imagine going on Google Earth and seeing satellite photos of your neighborhood with green everywhere.
The benefits of a green roof are numerous:
-improved air quality
-storm water runoff management
-longer roof life
Factors to consider include:
-new construction vs. placement on an existing structure
-$15-25 per square foot ($160-270 per square meter)
-similar costs to re-roofing a conventional roof versus installing a new roof on a new building
Green roofs come in different forms: Vegetation mats, Vegetation boxes, Plugs, Potted Plants, Sprigs or Seeds. All will give you erosion control and relatively easy installation and freedom to design. Mats and boxes, however, don’t need weeding so much and require less watering, provided you have built-in storm water retention.
Here at G Living, we’ll need something simple that will be mostly self-sufficient. Succulents do well in our desert climate with its ocean breezes, so we’ll have a variety to choose from.
Stay tuned to G Living when we have Tom Hawkins from FloraSource on the Real G.