Rooftop Ecology (A teaser post)

At Rooftop Ecology none of the little things we mean to do is anything new, everything we mean to do has been done before.  But where we are going to break ground is in the combination of things we do and where we will do it.  As far as I know no-one has done what we mean to do on a roof.

Basically you start with a flat roof.   It’s a space with abundant sunshine, open to the wind,  which rain falls on. It’s also a boundary between different environments, a border, a skin, a membrane, but more on that later.  In Tokyo, where we are, the vast majority are unused for anything other than as a place to stick the AC unit.  If you do happen to see someone up there, it’s because she is hanging clothes,  fixing a leak, or connecting an internet cable.  In a city renowned for a lack of green space and with plant boxes on every doorstep you really do have to wonder why that is.

It does make you think doesn’t it? In a city of concrete where every river bend has been straightened and the baseball park is likely astroturf on top of bitumen a little green goes a long way. Well everywhere but the roof apparently.  On the other hand it’s easy to see why. One Japanese company will create a nice well manicured roof garden for 30,000 yen (that’s about 300 US dollars) per square metre.  That makes a flat roof of any size pretty steep. Personally, if you only want a roof garden to see leaves and look at cedar wood I’d go for a walk in the mountains outside Tokyo. It’s cheaper and you get to stretch your legs at the same time.

So, what do we propose?

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1 Comment

  1. Ian Gordon said,

    September 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Ads by Google are showing something called Foamglas: cellular glass insulation for building and industry.

    I’d prefer to hear more about Maerogel, an aerogel made from rice husks. The M refers to the fact that the researcher who discovered how to make it a lot more cheaply and using silicon from rice husks is from Malaysia.


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