In the not-too-near-future, your next home or office lobby may not be painted, or even decorated with wall paper. It could be alive.
Alive with plants, of course. But before we go planting gardens indoors, perhaps we should start with "living" exterior walls and roofs, first. Here, in South Florida, the idea hasn't taken root (sorry, I had to) the way it has in cities like Manhattan, Chicago, Seattle and Portland, where green building has become a popular trend.
When it comes to living roofs and walls on commercial buildings, the U.S. is still far behind many countries across Europe, where green roofs and walls -- both indoors and out -- have been in use for close to 30 years. Taking the trend one step further, cities like Toronto, Canada and Copenhagen, Denmark have started specific mandates for the installation of green roofs on most new construction.
Why? Turns out growing a garden on your building can save a lot of money -- and the environment.