The trend of rooftop gardens has been growing increasingly popular for years, and there are good reasons for it. They don’t just look good. They can also reduce costs and even benefit the environment.
As cities become bigger and buildings are developed more prominently, developers are becoming more and more creative with the way they utilize space.
One of the best examples of this comes in the form of rooftop gardens: greenspaces on the tops of commercial and apartment buildings, as well as industrial complexes.
But what exactly are they, and what purpose do they serve? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Modern Elite and PurePots Planters at Rockefeller Center in New York, NY
What are Rooftop Gardens?
While humans have gardened for thousands of years, the available growing space is being taken to new heights and on a massive scale in the 21st century.
And although the term “rooftop garden” is fairly self-explanatory, it doesn’t necessarily provide the full context for what exactly rooftop gardens are, what purposes they can serve, and all the incredible ways they can be done.
Besides the decorative benefit, rooftop gardens can be used to grow food, provide temperature control, offer hydrological benefits, support architectural enhancement, create habitats or corridors for wildlife, provide recreational opportunities, and on a large scale, may even have ecological benefits.
Aesthetic and Recreational Benefits
First and foremost, let’s begin with the obvious: rooftop gardens can drastically enhance the visual appeal and utility of a building.
Not only do they allow you to create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing spaces, they also offer the opportunity to create areas where people can relax, unwind, and enjoy the outdoors.
Importance to Urban Planning
In modern urban planning, going green and being environmentally conscious are high priorities. And, as a result, rooftop gardens are becoming more prevalent.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to see rooftops covered with grass, vegetable gardens, and lush foliage in cities across the world.
Rooftop gardens can provide big benefits from an architectural perspective.
First and foremost, they help carry notions of nature and open space further in tall building developments, in turn creating opportunities for leisure and relaxation, stronger visual appeal, and even improved mental and emotional wellbeing through biophilic design.
But it doesn’t stop there: in residential buildings and especially for those who live in small apartments with little space, rooftop gardens can offer them a place to grow their own fruit, vegetables, herbs, or even just flowers.
Positive Environmental Impact
We mentioned earlier that, on a large scale, rooftop gardens could actually have a positive environmental impact, and that’s not speculative.
In fact, the primary cause of heat build-up in cities comes from the absorption of solar radiation by roads and buildings which, in turn, store that radiation which is then re-released as heat.
Plants have the ability to reduce the overall heat absorption of the building which then reduces energy consumption for cooling.
It was even calculated that the temperature in Tokyo could be lowered by between 0.20 and 1.51 °F if 50% of all available rooftop space was planted with greenery, in turn providing massive amounts of cost savings for the city.
Modern Elite Custom Planters at Alexan ALX Luxury Apartments San Diego, CA
4 Rooftop Gardens PureModern Helped Create
At PureModern, we’ve worked extensively on rooftop garden projects with some pretty incredible partners.
We provided benches for the award-winning rooftop roof deck at 30 East Huron in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Topiarius, the sun and pool deck turned the building’s rooftop into an incredible communal area equipped with planters, BBQs, seating, and more.
Baltic, located in the sought after neighborhood of Park Slope, has eleven-stories of luxury condominiums and was developed by JDS Development Group. G&M works, a landscape contractor, utilized PureModern’s custom aluminum planters to grace the terrace on the second floor and a roof deck. The roof decks were complete with seating areas for lounging, dining, and grilling. These planters were fabricated to hold lights when needed and were powder-coated in matte black.
Tishman Speyer, a real estate developer and operator with a global presence, called on Kim Hoyt Architect & Landscape Architect P.C. to design spaces at the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. PurePots Fiberglass and custom Modern Elite Planters were used to add greenery to two terraces located on the 15th floor.
Brent Cottong + Associates did a stellar job separating a very large second-floor roof deck at The Towers at Emeryville into a multi-use space complete with a bocce ball court using Modern Elite Cube Planters. This space also includes two sun-protected lounge areas screened by the ornamental grasses and a few benches also flanked by grasses. Any professional looking for a place to clear their mind or connect with a fellow co-worker will be happy to enjoy this well-designed roof deck.
With all the benefits offered by rooftop gardens, it’s no wonder we’re seeing them becoming more and more prevalent in urban environments across the world.
Whether you’re working on a commercial, hospitality, or residential project, incorporating a rooftop garden into your design could elevate its visual appeal and even save your clients some money in the long run.
If you’ve got questions about the right planters for your rooftop garden, simply request a quote today. Our experts will be happy to help you find the perfect fit.