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Maria Mahohvlic posted a blog entry in Maria's BlogAmidst skyscrapers and bustling cities, gardening seems almost a thing of the past. Not anymore. A new trend is hitting cities throughout North America, and it just might be what your business needs. Rooftop gardens are interesting, environmentally-friendly, and even a little edgy. Even if you don’t own a restaurant, your business could benefit from your own rooftop garden. Rooftop Garden Benefits When you think of a successful business, a rooftop garden probably isn’t the first quality that comes to mind. So why are businesses choosing to incorporate them? There are several reasons. Uses unused space In an urban setting, there’s little room to enjoy a garden—and purchasing land for gardening is expensive. Yet your roof is just sitting in the sky, teeming with possibilities. Why not put that space to use? Reduces pollution Rooftop gardens aren’t just great for your business; they’re great for residential roofs. The National Research Council of Canada estimates that a large number of rooftop gardens in an area could decrease smog and heat stress and lower energy consumption. Not only will this help the city where you live or work, but it could also increase your business. Many customers love companies that strive to be environmentally conscious. Lowers utility bills Plants provide a natural form of roof insulation, meaning they help lower your heating and cooling costs. Provides entertainment and relaxation The best part about a rooftop garden? Human interest. Customers will flock to your garden—and your business—as a place to relax and enjoy themselves. In a busy, polluted city, a rooftop garden offers a sigh of relief. How to Start a Rooftop Garden If you’re thinking seriously about a rooftop garden, first consider your business’s roof. It needs to be flat so the plants can sit comfortably, and customers can safely walk on it. It also needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the plants. You’ll want to check with a roofing contractor to determine whether your roof can support a garden. There are three different types of rooftop gardens: Extensive Green Roof: supports mosses, herbs, grass and other plants requiring inexpensive, shallow soil. Semi-intensive Green Roof: supports shrubs, bushes, and herbaceous plants, with a deeper soil layer. Intensive Green Roof: supports a wide variety of plants and trees with a deep soil layer. If you know your roof is safe for any of these types, you’ll next need to know where to put your plants. Containers are the most obvious choice, but some rooftop gardens grow their plants in rows of soil, just as typical gardens do. If you use containers, keep in mind that clay, cement, and terra cotta pots are all very heavy and will add to the weight on your roof. On the other hand, plastic and synthetic containers can’t support tall plants and may get knocked over in the wind. Your choice depends on which plants you keep, and how windy conditions are on top of your roof. Once you have sturdy containers, it’s time to choose your plants. You’ll need plants that can withstand heat, since rooftops are closer to the sun. You’ll also want plants that don’t require much soil. Herbs and vegetables are always great choices. Now, get your hands on high quality soil and fertilizer. You’ll need to fertilize your plants about every 2 to 3 weeks and water them regularly. Depending on the types of plants, you may need to prune them and eliminate pests. Rooftop Garden Wonders Are rooftop gardens successful? Just ask the dozens of businesses that are trying it. Many people are finding that rooftop gardens are a great addition. Make sure you’ve evaluated all the costs before you plow forward. To see if your business’s roof can handle a rooftop garden, speak with the roofing contractors at Century Roofing Limited.
The roofing on a house is arguably one of the most important features. The quality of the materials chosen will either protect against weather and insect damage, or leave a home vulnerable to costly repairs. Roofing can also be used to make a house more eco-friendly. Properly chosen and installed, roofing can cut down on the environmental impact of a home, from the production stage of materials to the amount of energy a house uses daily. There are hundreds of products to choose from, and narrowing them down can take some time. Here are a few options to consider in several different price ranges. http://homedesignlover.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/7-green-roof.jpg 1. Metal Roofing Metal roofing one of the most affordable, eco-friendly options for roofing. It is durable, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive to have installed. One product that is popular in the Australian market is Colorbond roofing. It comes in many different colors and choosing a light color will help keep the roof cool. Colorbond is produced to withstand the weather and insect life specific to Australia. As with any roofing the color will begin to fade over time. However, rather than having to replace the entire roof (as you might with asphalt shingles) you can simply have a professional repaint the steel roofing. Roof painting should be done by a professional as they are best equipped to provide an even, well-blended finish. Here you can read about the stages of roof painting: http://www.myroofline.com.au/roof-painting.html 2. Recycled Materials The pricing on recycled roofing materials can vary widely. One option is to use synthetic tiles made from recycled postindustrial waste. This helps prevent waste from ending up in a landfill, and many of these synthetic tiles are also recyclable. That means that when it comes time to replace the roof, the materials can be recycled rather than thrown in the rubbish. Recycled synthetic roofing tiles tend to be a fairly affordable option for most homeowners as well. Another option for recycled roofing is terracotta tiles. These tiles are beautiful, and can be made from old pavers, bricks, or roofing tiles. They do tend to be more costly and they add quite a lot of weight to a roof. Before installation, it is important to make sure the underlying supports can withstand the extra weight. Chipped or cracked tiles will need to be replaced periodically, and old tiles can be recycled. 3. Green Roofs Green roofs are a trend that is catching on in Australia. They consist of installing a lip around an existing, generally flat, roof. From there, a waterproof membrane is installed along with a root barrier. Finally, plants are used to cover the roof, providing excellent insulation. They also create much needed greenspace in urban areas. The cost of installing a green roof is fairly high, and there is a bit of upkeep to them as well. It is also very important to check that your local area can support the water needed to maintain a green roof as many areas in Australia have a limited supply of freshwater. That said, they are an attractive and extremely eco-friendly option for roofing. For more information on green roofs follow the link below: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/green-rooftop.htm