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8 lush green rooftops from around the globe

By: Katherine Butler on Aug. 17, 2011, 1 p.m.
goats atop sod roof

Photo: adrimcm/Flickr

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Coombs Country Market, British Columbia, Canada

Keeping up the traditions of the old world in modern times, the Coombs Country Market in British Columbia was built by the Graaten family, Norwegian immigrants who came to Vancouver Island in the 1950s. Using the sod-roof construction popular in his homeland, Kristian Graaten built the sod roof to celebrate his origins. In modern green roofs, a line of vegetation covers the growing medium, placed over a filter layer and a drainage membrane. This goes over a waterproof repellant layer, over thermal insulation, a vapor control layer, and finally over a structural support on the rooftop. The Graatens decided to put goats on their roof to help trim the grass. So yes, green rooftops can even sustain life. And in the case of this country market, this includes goats. (You just might want to keep your windows closed while they are grazing.)