Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicago restaurant features first certified organic rooftop farm

Green roofs — roofs with an impermeable surface covered with a special soil mix and nurturing live plants — offer the following benefits:

— add insulation to the roof, saving energy and reducing heating & air conditioning costs,
— reduce stormwater runoff
— reduce air pollution
— mitigate glare and noise
— lessen the urban heat-island effect
— capture carbon dioxide
— attract wildlife such as birds and butterflies

Now with the creation of Chicago’s 1st certified organic rooftop farm, let’s add food production to the above list. Uncommon Ground on Devon in Chicago isn’t your typical cookie-cutter neighborhood restaurant, not with 640 sq. ft. of soil on its roof and a certified-organic crop of garden vegetables and flowers for the restaurant.

Beyond that, the property at 1401 W. Devon, which was purchased in 2007 and converted to the restaurant, is essentially “green” throughout. To view a detailed account of the sustainable components built into the restaurant or to get directions to see for yourself check out its Website.

The green roof movement — which now encompasses gardens, meadows, playgrounds and nature preserves — has progressed beyond a trend and is now worldwide. Public and commercial buildings in Portland, OR, and, especially, Chicago are leading the way in the United States.

Green roofs for homes next? Why not? Green roofs provide another opportunity for the Green Industry to improve the environment. — LM Staff

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