From the standpoint of the building structure itself, Rooftop Greenhouses (RTGs) hold a great promise in changing the architectural functionality of our cities. A study paper entitled ‘Roofs of the Future: Rooftop Greenhouses to Improve Buildings Metabolism’ from the Creative Construction Conference 2015 examined the integrated Rooftop Greenhouse (i-RTG) that includes energy, water and CO2 flows in the metabolism of the building. Multidisciplinary assessments by the Fertilecity Project using Life Cycle Assessment (LSA) and the Integrated Value Model for Sustainable Assessment (MIVES) quantified the potential of i-RTGs and their environmental, economic and social benefits.
Conceptualization of RTEG. The illustration emphasizes the interchange of water, energy and gas (e.g., CO 2 ) flows between the rooftop greenhouse and the associated building.
Building integrated rain water capture and filtration systems, along with grey water filtration and re-use systems can can optimize resource utilization and move the building standard further towards the ‘living building’ accreditation.
Energy saving also significantly factor into the equation, as a Singapore study by Wong et al., 2003, showed the effect of RTGs on reducing the energy consumption of commercial buildings to be up to 14.5 percent.
Many cities around the World are mandating that all new commercial building rooftops must include some form of green roof technology. As green roofs, and solar on rooftops are surely becoming a norm, the rapidly increasing needs for further urban resource optimization, and local food security will see building integrated Rooftop Greenhouses a near future standard.