Whole Living Daily

Five Gorgeous Green Roofs

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There's nothing like the blazing heat we have been having the past few days to get you thinking about the cooling effects of a green roof. The benefits are huge. Green roofs not only reduce heat in the summer, but they also save energy by keeping homes insulated in the winter. They retain rainwater and reduce stormwater runoff, which keeps toxic chemicals out of our water sources. And they filter and clean our air, which makes it easier to breathe. Not to mention, they are incredibly beautiful to look at.

Now tell me again why every roof in every city doesn’t have a green roof? No answers there. The trend hasn’t caught on here as much as it has in other parts of the world. But let me do my part by sharing some amazing green roofs that I have found and see if we can inspire a few more adventurous souls to take the plunge. And by all means, please let me know which ones I've missed!

1 of 5

1 I love this little church nestled in the countryside with a lush, overgrown green roof. (© All rights reserved by jonna)

2 The top of Chicago City Hall is a perfect example of why the city considers itself the green-roof capital. (Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel)

3 This modern, tropical bungalow in hot and humid Singapore creates open spaces to encourage natural ventilation and provide ocean views. (Courtesy of Guz Architects; Photo by Patrick Bingham Hall)

4 Al Johnson's Swedish restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, has a roof that goats can graze on! (©All rights reserved by Big Rye)

5 The ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Fukuoka, Japan, was built to resemble a mountain. (Photography: Hiromi Watanabe)

Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.

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