Cool Roofs: Vegetables, bees and Tesla tiles

Sunny rooftops provide an excellent canvas for eco-friendly projects. Tesla Motors recently revealed the company’s solar-powered, tempered glass roof tiles. The tiles, 98% as efficient as current leading solar panels, are expected to be available for installation in August 2017. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced, “This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall [Tesla’s home battery] and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated.”

The tiles will be available in four styles: Tuscan, Slate, Textured and Smooth. Image Courtesy of Tesla Motors, Inc.

Organic vegetable farming is another cool way to take advantage of your rooftop. Launched in 2010, Brooklyn Grange is the US leader in organic rooftop soil farming and green roofing. They produce delicious microgreens, 50,000 pounds of organic produce and hundreds of pounds of honey each year! Check out this National Geographic video:

In the developing world, rooftops provide the sunlight required to grow superfoods like spirulina microalgae that are typically inaccessible to the world’s poor. Spirulina is easy to grow, provides many health benefits (detoxification, weight loss, cancer prevention) and has an outstanding nutritional profile. It’s an excellent source of protein, phytonutrients, beta-carotene and iron. Saumil Shah, founder of EnerGaia, has developed a highly efficient, inexpensive process for the rooftop farming of spirulina that could be utilized to help people grow spirulina and get healthy in all sunny places on Earth:

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