As the farm-to-table phenomenon has reintroduced restaurants into sourcing local product, some restaurants have redefined local as their own rooftop gardens. On top of the 18-story Ritz-Carlton in uptown Charlotte, chefs maintain their own gardens covered with different types of greens and two beehives for menu options.
The beehives annually produce 70 lbs of honey, constituting one of the main ingredients in the favorite Honey Pecan Ice Cream that is distributed at special events in the hotel. Bartenders use the honey for specialty cocktails, and spa workers incorporate the honey into their natural treatments for customers.
In addition to reducing the carbon footprint involved in growing food, rooftop gardens or green roofs also provide other benefits to the building and to urban environments. They act as insulation, which helps regulate energy flow and desirably reduces energy costs. In urban environments, such as uptown Charlotte, green roofs help mitigate the urban heat island effect by cooling down the surroundings through increasing evapotranspiration. Further improving air quality, green roofs also absorb greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants.
Green roofs are also an innovative way to address stormwater issues by increasing pervious surface area in urban environments. Capturing stormwater minimizes the potential for pollutants and urban runoff to contaminate neighboring waterways and diminish watershed quality.
Other skyscrapers have incorporated green roofs into their architecture. Notably, the Chicago City Hall sports a vegetated garden, complete for viewing in 2001. The California Academy of Sciences was designed with a green roof, intrinsic to the architecture of the building. As urban agriculture rises in popularity, the people at Brooklyn Grange manage several rooftop gardens throughout the burrow.
Increasing green space on urban buildings is an innovative move towards sustainable cities, and more Ritz’, Hilton’s, Westin’s, and Marriott’s should consider these installments and gardens.
To learn more about environmental dedication at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte: http://bit.ly/Gzrdo5