Rooftop Gardens Provide Beauty and Green Benefits

Posted on May 22 2013 - 2:04pm by Brent Hardy


I love cities, but sometimes they can be a bit lacking in green spaces. That’s one of the reasons I like rooftop gardens. When you can’t plant in the ground, why not plant on your roof? Rooftop gardens can be created using containers, or planted directly on the roof using a waterproof membrane, insulation and a root barrier.

Rooftop gardens have been popular for a long time in Europe, and in recent years they’re also popping up in the U.S.

Rooftop Gardens Provide Beauty and Green Benefits

View toward the east at Extra Space Storage’s rooftop garden in North Bergen, New Jersey

Extra Space Storage’s Rooftop Garden

The Extra Space Storage facility at 8301 River Road in North Bergen, New Jersey contains a rooftop garden featuring several shrubs, grasses and some flowering plants. It’s a nice green space with some great views of New York City!

While the North Bergen storage facility escaped damage from Superstorm Sandy, the rooftop garden didn’t fare as well. The high winds destroyed flowers and bushes, and took away a lot of dirt. But we won’t let this be the end. We’re planning on restoring our rooftop garden!

Rooftop Gardens Provide Beauty and Green Benefits

View of Manhattan at Extra Space Storage’s North Bergen rooftop garden

Advantages of Rooftop Gardens

So, why are more businesses deciding to install rooftop gardens, or green rooftops? There are many good reasons! In addition to the beauty provided by green spaces, the rooftops also offer other advantages. With a rooftop garden, you can:

  • Grow local food, such as tomatoes.
  • Cut down on storm runoff with a layer of succulents.
  • Insulate your building to save energy.
  • Reduce temperature of roof surface and surrounding air.
  • Help clean the air.

Think about this: The EPA says that on hot days, the surface of a green roof can be cooler than the air temperature, but the surface of a conventional roof is up to 90° F warmer! A cooler roof means lower energy usage. So, rooftop gardens are not only aesthetically appealing, they also make sense from an environmental standpoint.

Would you consider planting a rooftop garden? If so, what plants would you include?


Rooftop Gardens Provide Beauty and Green Benefits

About Brent Hardy

VP Facilities Management
Extra Space Storage

Brent Hardy has been with Extra Space Storage since 2001. He currently oversees all corporate construction & facilities management activities for Extra Space Storage. Brent has been the driving force for corporate responsibility with energy management and sustainability programs. His successful management in these areas has directly contributed to the growth of Extra Space Storage. Brent’s green initiatives have included solar power, implementing energy efficient lighting systems and daylight harvesting on a corporate scale for over 800 properties. He enjoys fishing, water skiing, avoiding airplanes and spending time with his wife and four daughters. Brent began his career in self-storage after spending several years with various firms in construction and operations management both in Salt Lake and New York City.

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