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The Rich Wonder of a Rooftop Garden

Thu 17 Dec 2015, By Dean Cromwell
Rooftop Garden

Imagine if you will, a better way to incorporate the environment into your living space. This is an aspect that many attempt through solar paneling, water conserving showerheads and even planting your own herbs and vegetables to save money on store-bought goods.

But what if there was a way to truly stand out from the crowd and for those who can afford it (like say, those lottery jackpot winners who've struck it lucky), you should consider a "green rooftop garden", such as the one Ford started in the US over a decade ago.

Ford Motors in Big River, Colorado started a green roof initiative by planting a field on top of its production factory's roof. According to Ford, "Instead of having a chemical-based storm water treatment plant, this system mimics nature." When this was built back in 2004, it was voted by Guinness World Book of records as being the largest natural roof in the world. Today, thousands of companies across the globe have mimicked Ford's original idea. But what exactly does it accomplish and can this be done at home?

This $15 million project was built to offset the intense pollution its factory was creating by absorbing rainwater and slowing runoff (the draining of water). The 10-acre garden turned into a habitat for life over the years and encouraged plants, animals and insects to live on the factory roof. Runoff is usually an enormous issue for factories as the excess water leaks into rivers causing intense pollution. Now, the runoff is dispersed by the foliage embedded within mineral fleece wool, which further helps to absorb the runoff and provide a place for organic material to thrive.

Those who want to do this on their property will discover (with a bit of searching online) that it's relatively easy to set this up on any elevated flat surface and in well under a day, you too can insulate your home and provide a little bit more greenery in a grey and lifeless neighbourhood.