The Australian climate lends itself to outdoor living, and we are fortunate enough, in many circumstances, to not only have our very own garden at the back of our houses, but also the front. As a relatively young country (in built form terms) we have not had the intense urban development of other busy cities in the world such as New York City and Tokyo. These cities are focused heavily on apartment/condominium living and most people accept the fact that they will not rent or own a building that has green space. Take Central Park in Manhattan for example. This park is perhaps the most famous urban green space in the world and apartments close by or overlooking Central Park are hot in demand and command a high price.
Although not quite in the urban density category as NYC many homes on the outskirts of our larger cities (in Australian standards terms) do not have large green areas, or any at all – contrary to the quarter acre block ‘Australian Dream’. There is a solution however that can take advantage of our exceptional weather, enhance the thermal regulation of your building and provide an intimate and private green courtyard without having to buy the neighbours block for that additional space. Introducing, the terrace/rooftop garden!
The terrace or rooftop garden is an external open flatarea most frequently used throughout the Middle East and Andalusian region of Southern Spain and implemented as far backby the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Today they are something of an anomaly perhaps because they require a greater deal of infrastructure due to the added weight distribution to your home. This often deters people from following through with a roof terrace when building their homes as added infrastructure can be expensive and add to your building timeframes. Another reason they may not be high on the buildingagenda is because people aren’t familiar with their benefits.
So why not create a trend for the benefit of our cities and go green! The terrace garden is a perfect fit for small inner city blocks that have limited green space amidst an urban built setting. You can maximise your green areas by having a garden that can be up to the same size as your ground floor footprint. The added soil and ground materials, plants, trees etc. will also help thermally regulate your building and provide fantastic shade by way of tree canopy during the warmer months.
Imagine sitting on your very own private terrace with no neighbours (technically), drinking a Gin & Tonic at sunset. And if you were crazy enough to have to sell your house with your new garden, then think about the financial returns of having as much green space as built space! So why not ‘green’ your city, make the most of weather and sit back and enjoy.