a kit to grow your own green roof
Not that you can't find the engineer, roofer, nurseryman, and architect to professionally install a green roof. But everyone loves an option that cuts out extra labor, materials, and middlemen. That's why the eco-obsessed editors here at This Old House had to see GreenGrid, a DIY green-roofing kit. Its freestanding modules ostensibly give the same benefits as green roofs the experts install—if your roof's already sound, fairly flat, and watertight. Don't bet on the same polish as with a pro team. But you may see the usual improved cooling and heating and reduced rainwater runoff. (We'll see how our kit fares.)

Developer Weston Solutions, an environmental consultancy, installed pro versions of the modules for years before scaling them down into a system that average joes can use. "Water them for a year. Little additional maintenance is needed," says market development associate Jim Lindell. However, no arid climes, tar roofs , or slopes sharper than 15 percent. $10-$15 a square foot; greengridroofs.com.

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