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The Green Roof Movement

November 4, 2006


A new spread that roofs over greenscaping in the cities is the green roof movement.Germany and Japan have introduced them into building projects for many years, and they are now becoming popular in eco-minded cities in other parts of the world especially in the U.S.

Green roofs in US are usually flat, and partially or completely covered six inches of a patented, lightweight growing medium called Gaia Soil spread on roof terraces, in which plants are grown. Weight, apart from cost, was the largest obstacle to building green roofs. A lower weight soil is important because of the load-bearing limits on rooftops. For existing structures, lighter-weight soil means less restructuring, Most roofs can only hold 40 pounds per cubic foot.and most soils weigh 50 pounds per cubic foot.

The Gaia Institute in Bronx,USA solved the problem with Gaia Soil, a growing medium that is 85 percent Styrofoam. The remaining 15 percent is a mixture of agricultural waste, clay slurry and compost that includes ground pumpkin seeds, evergreen trees and poop from animals. A cubic foot weighs only 10 pounds.

According to the Green Roofs Institute, total coverage in North America climbed from 1.3 to 2.5 million square feet between 2004 and 2005. Green roofs lower cooling bills, provide research opportunity and bring the natural world to inner-city children. The green roof has acquired the dimensions of a movement that is growing rapidly.

Despite its light weight, Gaia Soil can absorb twice its weight in water and absorb up to two inches of rainfall at a time.  Absorbency slows the rate of storm water run-off from the roof, resulting in less water in the sewer, and less overflow of untreated water

Apparently,the green roof  is an interesting development because it desn’t just have environmental returns, it  also has economic returns.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2006 10:44 pm

    Please visit or for more information.

  2. March 17, 2011 5:55 pm

    I think green roofs in cities are so cool, Great Post,
    thought you might enjoy my machinima film about bees and permaculture

    Bright Blessings
    elf ~

  3. June 9, 2011 5:51 am

    I love green roofs! Thanks for the article 🙂


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