5 Impressive Green Roofs from Across the Globe

Lush and lovely, green roofs pack an environmental punch



Roofs are getting a green makeover and replacing cement and asphalt with greenery, flowers and plants. The trend is gaining steam and increasingly, flourishing and flowering rooftops can be seen in major cities around the world and even in residential areas. It is no wonder that France recently passed a law mandating that new buildings constructed in commercial zones must partially cover their roofs in plants as green roofs are packed with environmental pluses.
Green roofs improve air quality, reduce carbon dioxide, cool down cities with the dew and evaporation cycles and conserve energy.
Aside from being a great for the planet, they are wonderful on the eye. Let us present you with five of the most impressive green roofs from around the world that incorporate sound environmental practices with a heightened level of aesthetic and whimsy- enjoy!


In 2001 the Windy City constructed a 38,800 sq. foot (3,530 meter) green roof atop an 11-story high building. The initiative started out as a demonstration project to reduce urban heat and improve air quality. Some 20,000 plants of more than 150 species grace the rooftop and were selected for their ability to survive Chicago’s crazy weather of extreme winters and humid summers. 

City Hall, Chicago green roof

The expansive rooftop is open to visitors. [Wikipedia]

City Hall, Chicago [Wikipedia]


The School of Art Design and Media is a sight to behold, with sloping green roofs used for students’ enjoyment, building insulation and harvesting rainwater for landscaping irrigation. 

Singapore-based architecture firm CPG Consultants built this gorgeous building. [Screenshot]

School of Art Design and Media [Screenshot]


This residential building complex’s name translates into English as 'forest spiral,' and it’s easy to see why! Designed by artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Waldspirale has a diagonal roof with grass, shrubs, flowers and trees. The unique building has more than 1,000 windows - no two are the same - as well as an inner courtyard that houses a playground and small artificial lake.


Built in the 1990s, the Walspirale contains 105 apartment buildings. [Screenshot]

An aerial view of the funky apartment building. [Screenshot]


The city of Fukoka needed a new government office building, and had one last undeveloped plot in the center of the city. The municipality sought an architect who could design a building that would provide green space yet also be functional. Architect Emilio Ambasz won the bid with his design that planted vegetation on all of the stepped panes of the building, effectively doubling the size of the park.

The building houses an exhibition hall, museum, theater, 600,000 square feet of government and private offices and more. [Screenshot]

Side view of Fukoka Prefectural International Hall [Screenshot]


Canada’s largest living roof is a self-sustaining grassy habitat that houses 400,000 native plants and four colonies of 60,000 bees and a wide variety of other wildlife. There is no public access to this impressive green roof, allowing the rooftop to function as a complete eco-system with natural drainage and seed migration patterns using the roof’s architectural topography. 

An aerial view of the well-manicured green roof. [Screenshot]  

The Convention Centre sits on the waterfront at Canada Place in the heart of downtown Vancouver [Screenshot]