Sustainability-minded green roof projects are appearing from Montreal’s Concordia to the University of Saskatchewan
By Leanne Delap
November 28, 2016
And at the University of Saskatchewan, an opportunity arose on top of the phytotron (a research greenhouse). The condensers were moved, leaving a bare expanse visible from an open walkway.
“Aha,” said Grant Wood, a professor of urban agriculture, who worked with the university’s office of sustainability to come up with “the rooftop.” After getting the engineering students to check on load-bearing weights, and “a lot of paperwork,” says Wood, pallets and recycled containers were moved onto the roof. The team started with 500 sq. feet of planting, for a yield of about a thousand pounds of produce this past year; the goal is to double that next year.
The garden is being used as a teaching space for both university classes in various disciplines and agricultural camps for school kids over the summer. Crops are sold to campus food services, which advertise the fresh bounty the way restaurants point to local suppliers on their menus.
“We grow the veggies, sell them to culinary services,” says Woods. “They feed students and staff and then put the waste into a dehydrator that goes back into compost. It all takes place in less than a mile. We are working in food feet: sustainability at its ultimate.”