10 Ways to Convert Rooftops into Gardens for a Sustainable Philippines

Rooftop garden

How is the rapid urbanization in the Philippines affecting you? Is your home becoming more prone to damage when dealing with extreme weather conditions? Have you observed changes in your well-being due to the lack of access to fresh air and green spaces?

According to Raflores and Regmi (2015), since Metro Manila is a highly urbanized area, it has several environmental issues related to urbanization, such as climate change, solid waste management challenges, and air and water pollution. Now, more than ever, the Philippines Department of Agriculture (2021) calls strongly for the development of “green” residences and buildings.

The move from conventional green roofs to modern rooftop gardens provides a long-term and visually appealing remedy for the growing problems caused by rapid urbanization. In this article, you will learn more about various rooftop design ideas and the benefits they bring to urban living in the Philippines.

Green Roofs vs. Rooftop Gardens

Green roofs, commonly referred to as living roofs or vegetated roofs, are roof systems that include vegetation and plants. They provide a variety of environmental advantages and help to promote sustainable development. A waterproofing membrane, a root barrier, a drainage layer, a growing medium, and vegetation are all included in the construction of a green roof.

The primary focus of green roofs is to enhance energy efficiency, stormwater management, and ecological balance. In the Philippines, where tropical rains are frequent, a green roof terrace can play a significant role in reducing stormwater runoff. The vegetation and substrate of green roofs absorb rainwater, reducing strain on the drainage systems and minimizing the risk of flooding.

Moreover, green roofs provide insulation, reducing the energy consumption of buildings by lowering heating and cooling needs. They also contribute to air quality improvement by capturing pollutants and absorbing carbon dioxide, mitigating the effects of climate change.

On the other hand, rooftop gardens take the concept of green roofs a step further by transforming your rooftop into an outdoor living area for cultivation, recreation, and community engagement. In rooftop gardens, the emphasis goes beyond the ecological benefits to include social and economic aspects.

Rooftop gardens in cities across the Philippines prioritize food production and urban agriculture. By growing edible plants and vegetables, rooftop gardens promote self-sufficiency, local food production, and community resilience. They contribute to food security and create opportunities for urban dwellers to reconnect with nature through farming in an urban setting.

Additionally, rooftop gardens provide recreational spaces for entertaining and communal areas. These gardens can be designed to incorporate seating areas, walking paths, and even playgrounds, creating welcoming environments for relaxation, social gatherings, and community events. Rooftop gardens offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, fostering a sense of well-being and connection among residents.

10 Rooftop Design Ideas:

1) Urban Agriculture

Dedicate outdoor space to urban agriculture and promote sustainable food production. Grow a selection of fruits, vegetables, and herbs in raised beds or containers on your rooftop terrace. Incorporate composting systems to recycle organic waste and nourish the plants.

2) Ecologically-Friendly Rooftop Greenhouse

Rooftop greenhouses combine the benefits of agriculture and eco-friendly design. These innovative structures allow more room for urban agriculture, where fresh produce can be grown right on the rooftops.

Integrate sustainable elements into the design of rooftop greenhouses to enhance their environmental performance. Incorporate rainwater harvesting systems, solar panels for energy generation, and composting areas to promote self-sufficiency and reduce the ecological footprint of your roof decking.

Read also: Solar Power Systems to Consider for Your House and Lot

3) Hanging Planters

Utilize vertical space by hanging planters, cascading vines, and hanging baskets from pergolas or trellises. This design adds visual interest and creates a green curtain effect, transforming the rooftop deck or patio into a stunning green sanctuary.

By utilizing vertical space and advanced planting techniques, rooftop greenhouses not only provide a sustainable source of food but also enhance the building’s energy efficiency and air quality.

4) Container Gardening

Utilize large plant containers or raised beds to create rooftop greenhouses. This method allows for flexibility in plant selection, easy maintenance, and portability. It is suitable for a rooftop terrace with weight restrictions or limited space such as those in a studio apartment.

5) Herb and Medicinal Greenery

Focus on growing a variety of herbs and medicinal plants on your rooftop terrace that thrive in the local climate. Create designated areas for culinary herbs, healing plants, and aromatic species. This design offers both practicality and wellness benefits.

6) Native Plant Greenery

Embrace the biodiversity of the Philippines by designing rooftop gardens that feature native plants. Native plants are well-suited to the local climate, require less maintenance, and provide habitat for local wildlife. This approach promotes ecological balance and contributes to the conservation of indigenous flora.

7) Educational Rooftop Terrace

Transform rooftop gardens into educational spaces that teach sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Incorporate signage, information boards, and interactive displays that educate visitors about the benefits of rooftop gardens, native plants, composting, and other eco-friendly practices.

8) Urbanized Rooftop Terrace

Design your rooftop terrace as a serene and peaceful space that provides a sanctuary within the urban environment. Incorporate water features, such as fountains or small ponds, to create a calming atmosphere. By incorporating plants, trees, and water features, these gardens offer a refreshing escape from the busy city below. They provide a habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation in urban areas.

9) Relaxing Outdoor Living Space

Creating a relaxing outdoor living space in your rooftop garden allows you to unwind, connect with nature, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding environment. Select comfortable and durable outdoor furniture that suits your style and preferences and offers comfortable seating and shade structures, and add fragrant plants to enhance the sensory experience and lighting, and promote relaxation Opt for weather-resistant materials like rattan, teak, or aluminum that can withstand the elements. Add plush cushions and pillows for added comfort and coziness.

10) Recreational Rooftop Terrace or Roof Deck

A rooftop terrace serves as an extension of indoor living areas, providing a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. It offers a versatile outdoor living and dining area, where residents can relax, entertain guests, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Incorporating features like lounge seating, dining areas, and even a hot tub, rooftop terraces become a sanctuary above the bustling cityscape. Design your roof decks as a recreational space that provides opportunities for inspiration, social interaction, and outdoor activities. Include seating areas, walking paths, picnic spots, and even recreational facilities like mini-golf or yoga spaces, transforming the rooftop into a vibrant community space. Whether it’s creating a cozy lounge area or setting up a dining space under a shaded pergola, roof decks offer endless possibilities for creating a stylish and comfortable retreat.

Impact and Future Innovations

Rooftop transformations inspire innovative design ideas and future developments in the construction industry. Architects and urban planners are incorporating green spaces into building designs, prioritizing sustainability and community well-being.

Integrating greener elements in urban residences in the Philippines is critical for addressing environmental concerns, mitigating the effects of climate change, improving air quality, improving health and well-being, conserving natural resources, and achieving long-term cost savings. From creating outdoor living spaces to promoting urban agriculture and sustainable practices, these rooftop ideas enhance the overall quality of life for residents. With the rising awareness of environmental conservation and sustainable living, rooftop transformations pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future in Philippine cities.

BRIA Homes and Eco-Friendly Green Spaces

Are you interested in buying a new home for yourself and your family? Bria Homes has been recognized for its work in developing affordable and sustainable housing. Every BRIA location provides an abundance of amenities, including covered courts, open green spaces, child play fields, and so much more. Moreover, every BRIA development prioritizes security, with guarded gates, 24/7 CCTV protection, and solar lighting. Sounds exciting right? Reserve your dream property today by visiting the official BRIA Homes website.

Written by MC Sanchez