Imagine this scenario. You have to work 9 to 5 daily to earn your living. Often that 5 PM stretches to 7, 8 or even 9. By the time you cut across with the heavy traffic and pollution to reach home, it's already dark. To reach by 9, you rush from home early again to beat the traffic. And on top of that, you live in apartments and work in high rise air-conditioned buildings.
You spend utmost of the waking hours in your office, in cubicles or cabins. Maybe, go up to the roof for your lunch hour. It's a drab, cemented or tiled floor. Either way, a concrete rooftop in a concrete building in a concrete urban jungle, that's what it is.
What have you lost? Where have all the greenery and nature disappeared from your life?
Now imagine this scenario.
You still work from 9 to undefined long hours in an office. But you enjoy your meals or a cup of hot or cold tea and coffee in an environment which is natural, green, pretty, stress-free, and inviting. It has lots of artificial trees, and beautiful silk flower arrangements are decorating the place and helping you to take a break from work and relax before going back to the routine.
No want to guess which scenario you would prefer.
Well, here are some ways and tips to bring back nature into your working life and onto your office rooftop.
The meaning of a Green Roof
Green Roof, also called a vegetation roof, is a roof which is covered with vegetation and plants placed over a waterproof sheet or flooring. Some of the components of a green roof are vegetation, soil, drainage system, a roof-barrier, and an irrigation system. A green roof also may have forms of green or environmentally friendly technology like cool roofs or thermal solar plants.
Benefits of having a green roof
A green roof on a building is very beneficial. It:
- beautifies the place
- insulates the building against heat
- reduces the use of energy
- allows for rainwater harvesting
- lowers air temperature
- reduces stress in people due to its aesthetics
- increases the durability of a roof.
Permits and Permissions
The first and foremost step towards forming a green roof on your office complex building is to seek and obtain permission from the local authorities, the municipal corporation, the owners (in case it is leased), and other concerned people.
Fix up a budget for the entire project keeping in mind costs for permits and licenses, planning, materials, accessories, labor, fake plants, artificial grasses, monthly maintenance, etc. The main expenses lie in the installation and maintenance.
SAS (Space, Area, Safety)
Study the blueprint of the building. Does it allow for such modifications concerning safety and sustenance? Then, measure the space and area that you can modify and work on. Keep in mind that there would probably be a canteen, dining area, washrooms, etc. too on the rooftop. Blend these into your plan.
Design and Layout
Once the initial measurements are done, brainstorm and design the layout of the rooftop. Think of the look and feel of the place; it's ambiance with artificial plants and faux flower decorations.
Water: Source and Drainage
Your green roof on the building will ideally be done with more of fake plants than the real ones. The maintenance of these is easier than that of real ones. But, water would be needed to clean and wash the plants. Arrange for a regular supply of water. It's important to take into account the drainage of this water. It should not be allowed to stay stagnant on the roof as it will cause issues of seepage into the floors below. It should also drain out into a safe place where it won't damage the final destination as well as not go waste. Think of ideas of recycling this water as it will not be too dirty due to the artificial plants.
Select from the vast myriad of materials available in the markets today. Online options also offer a vast range. The materials should be fire resistant, weather resilient, and easy to clean. They should also be long lasting, easily available in case of any replacements in the future. Artificial green grass carpets are ideal for the green roof flooring. Take care of the quality and prevention of leakages during installation of these materials.
List out and look for accessories for your green roof. Floor planters, artificial flowers, fake grass carpets, hanging outdoor planters, water hose, bird feeders, artificial birds and butterflies sitting on artificial trees, artificial soil, etc. Make sure you place all the accessories in a waterproof membrane or flooring.
Look into long-term maintenance needs and costs of the green roof. Avoid flimsy accessories and materials, and plants. Go in for artificial grasses and faux plants which are very low on maintenance.
One of the primary benefits of a green roof on your office building is to beautify the place so that you enjoy your lunch hours and tea breaks. It should look aesthetic and beautiful. Place some bird feeders and water points for birds too to come there for respite. Place artificial indoor plants in artificial outdoor planters so that you get the best of both worlds. These faux plants don't lose their shine and glow over time. They can be easily washed or cleaned with a wet cloth saving water in the long run.
You can also choose the artificial flowers of your choice without having to worry about the season. Fake trees standing in the corners of the roof will create a pure natural environment. These artificial trees will also give you shade during the summer heat. Some small arrangements of silk flowers in fake silk plants will add color to the place. These can be safely used as they are chemical free and there is no fear of insects and mosquitoes disturbing your peace.