Monday, August 07, 2006

Going Green in Chicago

At one of my open houses this weekend I was asked about what it would take to cover the garage rooftop with grass instead of traditional decking. Having not done it myself or known anyone who had I didn't have the answer for him, but it really peaked my curiosity. More and more buyers are looking for a home with outdoor space, whether it's a balcony or the rooftop of the building they live in, but I have yet to see a grass rooftop. In most cases, garages, which is a "must have" for so many buyers, have practically wiped out what little backyard was there could have been. So why not create a "backyard" on your rooftop? The idea sounded great to me. Like a little kid, I still love the feeling of grass between my toes and having lived in the city for so many years I feel pretty nostaglic about grassy feeling. And no, the patches of grass that line the sidewalk outside my home don't qualify. The fertilizer provided by the neighborhood dogs certainly doesn't add to the appeal. So what would it take to create the "rooftop backyard?" Apparently I'm not the only one that is curious. The City of Chicago set-up the Chicago Center for Green Technology, located at 445 N Sacramento. Not only is it a prototype for green building design, but more importantly the go to place for people with questions about the "how to." Rooftop backyards or gardens are only the beginning when it comes to going green. Bamboo flooring, dual flush toilets, tankless water heaters and the list goes on. If you want more information on going green in Chicago, check out the links below.

City of Chicago Department of Environment
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Greenmaker Supply Company