Green Rooftops Taking over the World
Everybody knows that France is a hub for haute couture. This does not mean fashion only – it also means food, wine, gardens, movies, you name it. But France is becoming more popular because of another global trend – rooftop gardens. According to a new law passed before the global climate talks in December, all newly built commercial buildings in France will have to have a roof, or at least part of the roof, covered with greens or solar panels.
Green roofs have become globally popular in recent years because they are significant energy savers. Some cities, such as Basel in Switzerland and Toronto in Canada, demand all rooftops to be covered with vegetation upon their construction. Promotors of this green strategy say that green rooftops help preserve the heat inside the building, as well as saving up on air conditioning costs.
Spanish researchers have found that up to 60 percent can be saved on energy bills if the roof is covered with vegetation. Green rooftops also act as a passive cooling system, say the scientists. Needless to say, they are welcome in smog-affected metropolitan areas as oxygen producers. They also help take care of retaining water on flat rooftops. When it comes to urban nature, green rooftops are excellent sanctuaries for birds that live in large cities, because they can nest there and have plenty of food.