Just before popping in to pre-poll vote this afternoon, I spent a minute in the adjacent newsagent scanning some magazines. One seemed focussed on sustainable development, and thumbing through it I was introduced to green roofs. They are literally made of growing vegetation, and there are plenty of reasons why green roofs are a good idea.
A few years ago, when I read Tom Robbins’ “Half Asleep in Frog Pyjamas“, I was enthralled by the idea of growing enough food on the roof of a bowling alley to feed the surrounding blocks. While green roofs rarely use cropping plants, they do provide tangible benefits in terms of insulation, water retention and air temperature reduction. They don’t have to be an eyesore, as the photo gallery of Green Roofs Australia shows.
The idea is not new, however. Scandinavia started the trend more than a millennium ago, and amazingly at least 10% of roofs in Germany today are green. Even in Australia the technique is familiar; our Parliament House in Canberra is a prime example. Its ironic that one of the most exciting trends in architecture for the future is really just a relatively simple idea from the distant past.