Depending on the nature of your co-living space and surrounding land, a green roof might be an efficient and sustainable option for your community. A green roof is any roof that is partially or completely covered in vegetation. In order to facilitate this growth on the top of a building, green roofs necessarily need waterproofing systems to prevent leakage into the building. A growing medium, root barrier, as well as irrigation and drainage systems work together to protect the underlying structures of these lofty gardens.
These systems have to be more carefully calibrated than classic gardens, since mistakes would mean serious repercussions to your living space. But the end result is a roof transformed from an ugly and inefficient use of space into a living microcosm. A green roof can provide a habitat for birds and other animals. It can also absorb rainwater (the rest can be drained and collected!) and can decrease artificially high temperatures created by an otherwise concrete expanse of roof. In fact, in this way a green roof is part of larger passive solar design. For these reasons green roofs are especially needed in urban areas, but also have many benefits in more rural areas.