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On August 25, Toyota Roof Garden (a subsidiary of the Toyota
Motor Corporation) began taking orders for its TM9 turf mats,
modular grass tiles developed specifically for converting rooftops
into fields of green. In addition to providing an extra layer of
thermal insulation to a building, a grassy rooftop can also be
used as a putting green, says the company.
The mats also include space for water tubes that can be used
as an automated irrigation system. Water flows through the
tubes into a series of channels beneath the grass, providing
an even supply of moisture to the roots. Each square meter
(10 sq.ft.) needs 17 liters (4.5 gallons) of water every 3 days.
Green rooftops provides thermal insulation for buildings and
can help combat the urban heat island effect.
The annual Japanese market for rooftop and wall gardening
products is expected to grow to between 10 and 15 billion yen
(US$90 to 130 million) in the near future.
Is it just me, or have Japanese been growing plants on
their roof for centuries?