An IGA store located in Montreal Canada is growing its own produce on its roof. It is the first grocery store in Canada to adopt such an approach. The total space is that of twenty-five thousand square feet with more than thirty different kinds of produce being grown. Such different kinds of produce include tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, radishes and basil.
This approach is anticipated to correspond well with those who are interested in buying local. The cost to produce these vegetables is higher, however they are still sold at the same price as any other organic food item. The store boasts the highest standard for green buildings, being LEED Gold certified. The green roof plays a key part in this, providing an extra layer of insulation and reducing energy consumption. Together with this, there are other environmental benefits, where the water collected from dehumidifiers is used for the garden, thus preventing waste. The garden holds an environment that hosts birds and insects.
One of the issues which may pose a potential problem are the insects which can harm the produce. Pesticides are avoided as much as possible and to repel these insects, specific flowers are being planted. Going forward, the store may also consider the sale of fresh flowers from its roof. Since this specific rooftop garden uses soil, it is certified as organic. With that said, the different types of produce are restricted since the soil is shallow. For one, large root vegetables cannot be grown.
A statement by IGA indicates that the demand of green roof grocery stores in Canada is increasing. This potentially spells a positive return on investment for the brand. The company will be monitoring the project, stating that at this point it is premature to delve into similar initiatives. With that said, if this project is successful, it could be replicated across other outlets.
What are your views on a green rooftop supermarket? Would you be excited to see this concept adopted in Malta? Let us know your views in the comments section below.