Maximizing Small Space Through Rooftop Farming

Homes and facilities with little to no space for farming and gardening is something common to urban places. In urban places, people have learned to adapt their desire to start farming or gardening through different methods that allow them to start planting even with just little space.

If you have a space to spare in your rooftop, you too can start rooftop farming in your home or office. Rooftop farming is a practice that lets people make use of any rooftop space that they have for farming as well as gardening. Different crops can be grown depending on the space that you have. You can plant herbs and small vegetables if you have a small to moderate sized space. If you have bigger space, you can also employ vertical farming on your rooftop.

The benefit that can be acquired with rooftop farming is similar to the benefits that can be gained from other farming practices such as vertical farming and urban farming. Rooftop farming can possibly be considered as urban farming since urban farming seems to cover a much larger scale of farming practice in urban areas.

What makes rooftop farming unique is that even ordinary citizens can take advantage of it so long as they have a rooftop space to use. In addition, the materials and tools needed for rooftop farming can range from simple wooden crates to farming rails as well as ceramic and herb pots to complex ones with hydroponic systems. Here are some simple rooftop farming ideas that you can possibly consider.

Usage of Pots

You can purchase ceramic pots or those which are made especially for herbs and small crops. These can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

Usage of Wooden Crates

Wooden crates can be used so that you can layer them up to appear like a vertical garden. You can plant different crops that do not require to be planted deep in the ground. You can also plant green vegetables. These crates can be those that are used for storing and delivering fruits in markets or can be as low as 1 foot in height.

Usage of Recyclable Materials

Recyclable materials like plastic containers, doors, frames, bricks, and wood scraps can be used to start a rooftop farm. You just need to assemble them neatly so that you use them to grow crops.

Usage of Greenhouse

If you can afford it, you can also use a greenhouse to start a farm in your rooftop and build a vertical farm. A vertical farm on your rooftop would come out to be very beneficial as you will be able to produce a lot of crops while using only a small amount of space.

It is not required that you use only one method to build your rooftop farm. You can mix and match any of these so you can maximize your space as well as your crop yields.

Green Architecture: Changing the Home Design Trends of Today

Whether you are considering a home renovation or exploring designs for a new house, one of the common suggestions that you will get both from architects and engineers is to make it adaptive and earth-friendly. For those who may not be too inclined on the technical details of home designs, “adaptive” and “earth-friendly” are just words, that also often appeal to be expensive and complicated to achieve.

However, with the ever changing trends in home designs, we need to start equipping ourselves with knowledge on economical yet safe home design choices. With this, we will try to look into the basic concepts of earth-friendly and adaptive homes – two concepts that are closely interrelated.

Earth-friendly Home Designs

These designs are born out of the campaigns of several countries for an environment-friendly lifestyle or sustainable living, which of course includes house designs. Along with this, professionals in home construction and design have also innovated their skill set to meeting these new standards.

When we speak of environment-friendly home designs, this has a lot to do with the materials used to build or renovate the house. For instance, some architects have been practicing the use of biodegradable materials in house interiors.

These design techniques closely resemble that of the ancient times, when majority of the house materials come from natural sources. Even the paint products for the house have to be eco-friendly, which is not only safer for the walls, but for the occupants’ health, as well.

Other strategies being applied by architects is the creation of outdoor rooms in the house.

This means using natural light and air to save on energy for the room. All these, along with eco-friendly household practices easily contribute to having an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Adaptive Home Designs

This type of home design deals with two major things:

1) the ability of the house to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its residents, and 2) ability of the house to adapt and withstand the various environmental changes.

Also operating around the concept of sustainable living, these designs are meant to make the house last longer and the family living in it safer. Common feature of these homes are sturdy lumber and concrete, insulated panels, and dome-shaped ceilings. These type of house built has been proven to be more resistant to storms, tornadoes, and even earthquakes by the Wind Engineering Research Center. With natural calamities hitting the country almost every year, it pays to be keener in the construction materials used for your house.

When it comes to adaptive spaces for home, this is where secret rooms and sliding door comes in. This is also an innovative trend that architects and interior designers are looking into, in order to make a house with limited floor area still spacious enough for a growing family. Aside from choosing space-saver and multi-purpose furniture, it is also important to choose a house design that is easier to renovate in case the need for expansion arises. And this is exactly what your architect mean when they speak of adaptive home design.

Luxury Condos Can Be Eco-Friendly, Too

These days, the ‘green’ label gets thrown around a lot. There’s no end to the list of things advertised as less harmful for the environment than their traditional counterparts. Far from following the trend, the housing industry has long been ahead of the curve. Residential development continues to sit at the forefront of this commitment to green building, with alternative insulation materials going mainstream, solar panels popping up on rooftops across the country, and water-saving technology becoming the norm. But while these additions and renovations can be great, many eco-minded homebuyers don’t realize just how efficient and environmentally friendly it can be to live in multi-unit buildings. Luxury condos are green by their very nature!

The Benefits of Population Density

The more that a single structural element, utility, or appliance can be shared, the more efficient it is. In a luxury condo, a shared wall does what two separate walls would in houses. That translates to half as much building material to construct the wall, whether it’s wood, brick, concrete, etc. It’s also common for utilities to be centralized in a condominium complex, meaning that the hot water heater serves multiple units, a far more efficient use of energy than heating multiple small water heaters. The same holds true for air-conditioning and heating, which benefit from scaling up and serving multiple residences. By combining these functions that would need to be replicated at each individual home, multi-unit homes maximize efficient use of building materials and electricity.

Space to Breathe

On the other side of the equation, minimizing sprawl by sharing structures and appliances leaves more room on the property for outdoor features. Luxury condominiums have a much smaller footprint, on a per-unit basis, than individual homes. This means that the grounds can be larger and more luxurious, with water features and even small community gardens that would not be possible on many small lots.

The Cutting Edge

While luxury condos are, by their very nature, environmentally friendly, developers are increasingly using multi-unit residential construction to push the boundaries of green living. This is owed, at least in part, to the overwhelmingly green values and trends displayed by young, hip urbanites. Young professionals have shown especially significant interest in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for buildings. LEED certification encourages developers to incorporate alternative energy sources like solar panels for electricity or hot water. Another LEED innovation is the use of so-called grey water systems to recycle sink and drain water into the landscape. This water-saving technology is especially popular in the arid West, where drought has forced cities in California and Arizona to mandate cuts in public water.