World's 1st Commercial Roof Garden

Montreal is soon going to be home to the world's first commercial rooftop garden.  The 31,000 sqft hydroponic farm is set to open in early 2011 and is aiming to provide year round harvests.  Run by Luffa Farms, crops have been selected in collaboration with plant science and nutrition from McGill university.  Shorter transportation distances mean crops chosen for taste and nutritional value, not how long they can sit in a crate before they get funky.


Unlike other high profile urban agriculture projects, Lufa Farms plane looking greenhouses aren't inspirationally grassroots  or eye-poppingly futuristic. But, if the project is successful, proving that farming on urban roofs is economically viable could transform our cityscapes.  You've got to admire their guts too; their first harvest is scheduled for mid-February when temperatures in Montreal can dip past -30c.

One of the founders mentions that the insulation provided by a rooftop greenhouse can cut a building's energy costs by 20% to 25%.  But I'd love to see how much electricity they are going to have to use to keep their greenhouses hot in the winter.  Ideally, you'd want to place this hydroponic system somewhere where it could take advantage of excess heat generated by another commercial process.

Comments

1 Response to "World's 1st Commercial Roof Garden"

Brendan Gertner said... 3 August 2012 at 14:17

There should be more of these roof gardens around. It's high time that rooftops be converted to areas of vegetation. These gardens absorb carbon dioxide and release clean oxygen, which is definitely good for everyone.

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

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