Introduction to Rooftop farming:
Today, let us talk about Rooftop Farming Procedure, Benefits, and Setup.
Rooftop gardens are man-made green spaces on the topmost levels of industrial, commercial, & residential structures. They may be planning to grow produce, provide play space, give shade and shelter, or simply be there as a living, green area. Besides the benefit, roof plantings may give food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, recreational opportunities, and in large scale, it may even have ecological benefits. The perform of cultivating food on the rooftop of buildings is sometimes referred to as rooftop farming. Rooftop farming is generally done using the green roof, Hydroponics, Aeroponics or Air-dynaponics systems or container gardens.
Rooftop farming allows us to choose based on taste and nutrient content which should be the most important factors when it comes to what we consume. Rooftop farming also encourages thriving ecosystems that can brighten a concrete jungle with lady beetles and bees pollinating crops. It has even been informed that air pollution is reduced in the local areas surrounding a Rooftop farm.
History of Rooftop farming:
Humans have developed plants atop structures since the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia had plantings of trees and shrubs on above the ground terraces. An example in Roman times was the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, which had a prominent terrace where plants were grown. A rooftop garden has also been discovered around an audience hall in Roman-Byzantine Caesarea. The medieval Egyptian city of Fustat had a number of highrise buildings that Nasir Khusraw in the early 11th century described as rising up to 14 stories, with roof gardens on the top story full with ox-drawn water wheels for irrigating them.
The conditions required for Rooftop farming:
Rooftop gardens are possible to be exposed to more intense sunlight than those at ground level. Such light is less likely to be filtered by trees or other covering, potentially generating heat levels that can be dangerous to increasing plants. If this proves to be the case, it may be wise to invest in a thin shade cloth or netting to present some protection to your crops. The surface of the rooftop also becomes especially important as dark materials will absorb most sunlight & create a very hot, arid environment.
Hot, sunny conditions on rooftops can quickly reason plants to dry out. There are a number of means to address this. Perhaps the mainly important point to promote good water retention is through the soil. Rooftop gardens should be developed in a lightweight medium that has good water retention. To develop water retention, soil can be amended with a small amount of vermiculite. Self-watering containers are another means to keep plants moist. Such containers normally need less attention than traditional watering and provide a source of water that simulates patterns in nature. To care for from moisture loss at the surface of the soil, a layer of mulch can be evenly spread over the surface of the soil.
Why Rooftop farming:
Rooftop farming presents families with a unique opportunity to use their obtainable spaces to gain additional income. Roofs in Egypt are normally filled with unnecessary clutter and storage items that are forgotten and left to deteriorate. Using such spaces to develop much-needed food will be vital for the families as well as the whole country in the long term. Given that Egypt has scarce water and agricultural land & an increasing population, providing food through traditional farms will no longer be an option. The scheme will use hydroponic farming techniques, where crops are grown in water and not in soil. This allows for farming in a land that is not appropriate for traditional farming & the use of spaces that were otherwise not utilized. An additional advantage is that hydroponic systems use much less water than traditional techniques.
Benefits of Rooftop farming:
Rooftop farming relates to other types of container gardening with some notable exceptions. The first is the wind environments that are inherent to such locations. Unlike ground-level spots like patios, rooftops see considerable gusts that can cause damage to all but the sturdiest growers. Higher rooftops will see noticeably more wind than lower locations. When scouting your rooftop farming for the best place for your garden, avoid spots that are exposed to the direct wind in open expansive areas. The most ideal locations will be in close proximity to several types of shelter or wind block.
- Generate income and can provide some local employment for the poor.
- Utilizing otherwise unused roofs to make an income.
- Engaging in low time-consuming work that can be shared with other jobs.
- Establishing food security by providing fresh, safe, & healthy produce.
- Contributing to environmental sustainability & natural resource management.
- Reducing heat on residents living on the top floor of buildings, which helps them save electricity by means of fans or AC less.
- Decreasing harmful Carbon Dioxide & increasing oxygen, thereby improving their health.
Why is Rooftop Farming Great for Health?
Rooftop farming agrees to for a completely organic form of farming. This means it often has no pesticides or insecticides that would generally be found in trace amounts in traditionally farmed produce. Farming within the Central Business District (“CBD”) also allows creating to be picked at just the right time and delivered “fresh” with reduced transport distance and times. Produce found in main supermarkets is grown based on how hard that particular type of produce is to reduce costs and wastage during the hundreds of kilometers it travels before reaching your plate.
Place required for Rooftop farming:
Rooftops are often places of opportunity top floors of buildings often turn into penthouse apartments for the rich. The heights of buildings are regularly rarefied spaces. This distinction follows a traditional notion of hierarchy, illustrated by a pyramid the peak can be an untouchable, extraordinary space that floats above the masses. These make sense. Height means reserve from the masses of the city. The height of skyscrapers confers prestige on a business that calls the construction its own. Height is different. Height is fresh air & escape. Rooftops can flatten the hierarchy when they are accessible to all & particularly when they hold community gardens.
Rooftop gardens, as a specific urban agriculture niche set within a broader system of city gardens, like their own set of distinctive benefits. Rooftops are underutilized & rarely-considered urban spaces with great potential for creative development. There are basically three options for rooftop gardens. The container gardening, a less formal, cheaper form of roof gardening. In container gardening, few to no modifications are made to the obtainable roof structure; containers, anything from plastic swimming pools to recycled-wood planters place on a rooftop and filled with soil & plants.
How to make Rooftop farming:
- First of all, find out how local ordinances, rental property rules or homeowner organization regulations view a rooftop garden. Rooftop gardens may be prohibited or need special treatment and it is always best to know these things before you spend time and money.
- Second, get an architect or contractor involved as soon as probable. You don’t need the architect or contractor for the whole garden building procedure, but you will need them to tell you if the building is safe to build a rooftop garden for. Some buildings were basically not designed to withstand the additional weight a rooftop garden would add. Other buildings may be able to take the extra weight, but may only be able to take a restricted amount of weight. An architect or contractor should be capable to tell you if this is the case with your building.
- Third, even if your building can structurally take the extra weight, the weight of your rooftop farming should play a role in your design. Try to use a small weight as possible. Use plastic, fiberglass or foam planting containers & avoid using pavers. Utilize lightweight potting soil rather than garden dirt.
- Fourth, keep in mind that the rooftop garden will be considerably windier than a normal garden. You will need to incorporate windbreaks into the rooftop garden design. Try using trellises or some other latticed windbreak for rooftop gardens. Windbreaks that disrupt the flow of the wind, rather than trying to stop it completely, are essentially more effective. Solid windbreaks are likely to be knocked down by high winds than ones that allow some wind flow. Plus, really don’t want to eliminate wind flow. Just want to decrease it.
- Fifth, think about how will get water to your rooftop garden. Your rooftop farming will need to be watered frequently in hot weather & lugging heavy buckets of water to the roof is not fun or practice. Consider either having a water storage system constructed with or having an automatic watering system installed.
Factors to be considered in Rooftop farming:
The first step is to estimate the roof’s loading capacity, the load that the roof can support. This is important as the weight of crops, equipment & people that the garden will take on must be considered.
To undertake this structural study, you must call in a structural engineer. You should report to the engineer of the type and surface area of the garden you would like to create. This will really influence the structural needs.
The engineer can:
- Find out the type of roof (flat or having different levels) and the framework used;
- Determine the kind of construction (wood, steel, concrete);
- Find out the possibility of carrying out the project;
- Determine the influence of obstacles & the possibility of getting rid of or moving them (vents, chimneys, vent ducts, etc.);
- Study existing plans or make a survey sketch & map out the current conditions;
- Verify the real load capacity, according to the survey plan or plans provided.
After studying the situation, the engineer can either mark out definite parts of the roof where the garden can be set up or propose a framework for reinforcement. The latter solution will undoubtedly mean costs that may lead to turning to another site. Therefore, proceeding with a structural analysis at the very beginning of the plan is recommended.
Before starting construction of a rooftop garden, must get information on regulations from your city. Regulations vary from city to city & sometimes from borough to borough. In addition to building codes that regulate materials & ensure conformity to the building code norms, you must also check the zoning regulations for setbacks, use of space and a maximum height of the building.
Certain buildings may also be classified as historical monuments or as being component of a historical sector, which also limits some types of possible actions. These are important points should pay attention. Very often, railing not is visible from the street at a distance equivalent to two times the height from the edge. Height from the edge is regulated. Access is often synchronized by fire codes. You should make sure regulations do not require two exits for this particular plan, in which case you may need to add a staircase. There may also be restrictions on flammable materials and on the height of structures like pergolas & pavilions.
In certain cases, may be able to request an exemption from local authorities that would allow you to carry out the project even if it is not exactly up to municipal codes. This will, however, add extra delays & costs, and there is no guarantee you will obtain the exemption.
Architects and architectural technicians are professionals who are qualified to do this research & verify project conformity to norms and regulations in force.
Sunlight and Wind Exposure
Light is a basic need for plants. A study on the hours of sunlight on the roof should be carried out. As roofs are elevated, they normally offer sunlight conditions superior to most urban areas on the ground. Food cultivation necessitates long hours of daily sunlight, meaning 10 hours a day for the most heliophilous plants (e.g. Tomatoes).
Depending on the chosen plants & features you would like to incorporate in your garden, you should plan the garden in the area (full sun, part shade) that corresponds to your needs.
If you observe a measure of sunlight that is too great for the plants you would like to grow, you can decrease it by creating structures that produce lighter or darker shade: a shady wall, an arbor, a trellis and a row of tall plants, etc.
Wind is more often stronger at rooftop farming heights than at ground level. A light breeze is pleasant for gardeners, but strong winds could seriously damage plants. Creating a windbreaker that is vegetal walls, structures, canvases, etc. are recommended if there are strong winds and gusts of wind. If the structure must be attached to the roof, should make sure the parts of the frame are resistant. The arrangement must be sturdy but must not change the roof’s water resistance or framework.
Access and Security
Several elements related to gardener’s access & safety must be analyzed before choosing the site.
Access Practical Access and Roof Safety
There should be official access to the roof (stairway, elevator) to make the garden available to everyone. This access should be practical for transporting material to the garden.
Access to Water for Plants
Like the sun, water is a primary need for plants. As rain does not always come on time, access to municipal water is necessary. You can also set up a rainwater collection system by rerouting a gutter to a reservoir, for example. This solution will create a heavy load of water on the roof at random times, & the structural engineer should check the loading capacity in the designated place.
Access to Electricity or Solar panels
An electrical source is very practical for construction work & development or for the simple pleasure of listening to music in the garden.
Access to a Storage Area
Plan access to an area sheltered from inclement weather to store equipment, material & gardening tools.
Construction and planting:
In this section, a number of methods of construction will be described. Principles for the selected practices include:
- They are leaning at home rooftop gardens (commercial rooftop gardens on institutional buildings are not described)
- They must be low-cost
- Potential to make use of recycled & locally available materials and growing media. When use is made of materials & media that have to be transported over larger distances, their higher carbon footprint will offset reductions in carbon footprint resulting from increased local food production
- As much as possible, ecological production practices should be applied and the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides & pesticides avoided, both for health reasons and in order to reduce the carbon footprint related to utilizing of external inputs.
- Pollution part should be minimized. When using (urban) soil, be alert to make sure that the soil is not polluted (especially heavy metals). When the garden is located near industrial areas, air pollution may be a part of the concern. Use of protective fences may decrease this risk. The produce can also be washed in a mixture of water & vinegar before consumption. When kitchen water is used for irrigation, care should be taken that no chemical detergents are there in the water.
Roof gardens are most often established in urban environments. Plants have the capability to reduce the overall heat absorption of the building which then reduces energy consumption. “The main cause of heat build-up in cities is insolation, the absorption of solar radiation by roads & buildings in the city and the storage of this heat in the building material & its subsequent re-radiation. Plant surfaces, however, as a result of transpiration, do not rise more than 4 to 5 °C above the ambient and are sometimes cooler.” This then translates into a cooling of the environment between 3.6 degrees Celsius and 11.3 degrees Celsius (6.5 and 20.3 °F), depending on the area on earth (in hotter areas, the environmental temperature will cool more).
Aside from rooftop gardens providing resistance to thermal radiation, rooftop farming is also beneficial in reducing rain runoff. A roof garden can delay runoff to reduce the rate & volume of runoff. “As cities grow, permeable substrates are replaced by impervious structures such as buildings & paved roads. Stormwater run-off and combined sewage overflow events are now the main problems for many cities in North America. A solution is to reduce peak flow by delaying (e.g., control flow drain on roofs) or retaining runoff (e.g., rain detention basins). Rooftop gardens can delay peak flow & retain the run-off for later use by the plants.”
Disadvantages of Rooftop farming:
Buildings requiring a lot of water for common maintenance may pose problems as roof gardens significantly cut into the water supply. Since soil is a relatively heavy substance, most roofs require reinforcements before gardens can securely be sown on their surfaces. Roofs regularly subjected to high winds may lose significant numbers of plants & seedlings during certain seasons.
Although roof gardens require a protective membrane in between the soil and the rooftop, leakage may occur if nails, screws or garden tools penetrate the covering. Since repair of the membrane necessitates removal of part or the entire garden, this is a costly renovation.
Unlike a typical garden, roof gardens need intricate & costly drainage systems to ensure no water seeps into the building through tiny cracks and crevices in walls or drips down the sides of the building. Insurance premiums for buildings with roof gardens are normally higher than for standard structures.