What is a roof top greenhouse?
A roof top greenhouse refers to a structure that is located on the roof of a building which is generally part of cultivation without soil. This included food produce and flowers that are commonly domestically harvested. Roof top greenhouses are a part of vertical faming and fall under building-based Urban agriculture.
The most common form of roof top greenhouses are hydroponic systems which are becoming extremely common in urban areas where land that is suitable for cultivation is scarce. These hydroponic gardens are much cleaner and less cumbersome than the soil gardens and are hence gaining their popularity as a suitable fit for domestic and commercial buildings.
In rural areas there are ground-based greenhouses and these can be justified due to the availability of massive space and farming land. However, this option is not present for urban areas where the rise in population is at an alarming rate and the value of land is premium, hitting prices never seen before. Precious land can seldom be used for agriculture calling for the need of development and agriculture growth options.
Since roof top greenhouses require no soil, they can reduce the weight on the building structure and limit the number of resources that needed to be carried to the rooftop and the irrigation system can be directly linked to the water system already prevailing in the building structure.
Advantages of roof top greenhouse:
• Fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse can be used by the residents of the building for daily consumption
• Helps in off-setting food costs for the residents
• Reduce the dependency of localities on food supply chain
• Creates a greener environment that reduces urban heat island effects
• Creates positive environment for citizens
• Improves air quality
• Gives happiness to residents and gives them a chance to feel productive and positive while working in the greenhouse
• Reduction in waste
• Effective use of available space
• Effective use of rain water
• Increases efficient use of energy
• Creates opportunity for urban agriculture
• Reduces domestic noise pollution
• Creates miniature natural habitat for birds and insects
Types of roof top greenhouses:
There are notably three main types of roof top greenhouses that can easily be installed on domestic as well as commercial buildings:
- Extensive green roof: This refers to a low maintenance roof top garden that uses a light weight growing medium and is often limited to small plants like herbs, flowers and succulents. It is cost effective and easy to install.
- Semi- Intensive Green roofs: This refers to a mix of extensive and intensive green roofs which has a medium depth of growing mediums. It can accommodate small plants, herbs, small shrubs and grasses. This type of green roof can retain more storm water than an extensive green roof and provide opportunities for growth.
- Intensive green roof: This refers to a green roof where deep soils are installed and a variety of vegetation can be grown ranging from small to large plants and even small trees. This green roof however requires extensive care and high maintenance with advanced irrigation channels.
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