Gallery: GREEN ROOF TILES by Toyota Roof Garden


While green roofs may be universally accepted as wonderfully sustainable landscapes for a myriad reasons, the thought of installing one atop your own home may nevertheless seem daunting, expensive, and difficult to maintain. But the folks from Toyota Roof Gardens (a subsidiary of the Prius-creating car company) have solved your green roof installation qualms with a tile-based system that’s as easy as laying down carpet. The TM9 self-watering turf tiles measure twenty inches square, and connect directly to irrigation systems, making them entirely self-watering. And at a slim 2 inches thick, the tiles lightweight and do not require any additional structural upgrading to your existing roof.

At only $43 per tile, the TM9 system provides a modular, easy-to-install, cost-effective option for green-minded homeowners. In terms of maintenance, the tiles need only be cut once a year, thanks to a special breed of Korean velvet grass. And of course, like all green roofs, you’ll rest easy knowing that your easy installation is providing a natural cooling effect, thermal insulation, and a little extra flora in your home environment.

+ Toyota Roof Garden

Via GreenGeek


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  1. Kulwinder Maan July 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

    i want to buy this. where from i get it ?

  2. blog April 21, 2011 at 3:43 am

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  3. scotrsn August 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Has anyone used this system (or a similar one) first hand?

  4. pritam June 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

    could you help me to know how these amazing TM9 green roof is prepared, and how can i get more ifomation on these.


  5. issaguerra July 27, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Do you know where I can buy the TM9 Green Roof. If you have some online address it is better.

  6. Caroline Nolan February 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    If anyone is interested in learning more about green roofs, you may wish to visit Green Roofs for Healthy Cities website, the non-profit association for the green roof, green walls and living architecture industry in North America at

    We have a feature on the site that lets you search for a member of our organization — so if you are looking for green roof designers in your area, this database is a good place to start.

    We also publish a newly relaunched quarterly magazine called the Living Architecture Monitor (formerly the Green Roof Infrastructure Monitor) and subscriptions are available in a “supporter member” category if you’re not an industry professional. All the info is on our site.

    We also have an awards of excellence program so you can see the winners on the site and submit your projects for next year too.

  7. steve s February 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    can you purchase in UK (london) and where.

  8. V. O'Connell November 8, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Here’s some information for Kate in Monterey Bay on Green Roof for the West Coast: Have you heard by now of Rana Creek in Carmel Valley — Wholesale Nursery, Landscape and Consulting Service, including “Living Architecture”. Here’s a link to their website and “white paper” (.pdf ) on living roofs. They grow their own fescue called Festuca ‘Rana Creek’, which they sell (wholesale, anyway) in 4 in pots. This is probably what they are using on their green roofs — very drought tolerant and native grass to Monterey Bay area.

  9. Jacklynn Arndt October 11, 2007 at 11:23 am

    How can we place an order for the Toyota tiles? Is there a US rep to call or email?

  10. Kate Minott September 4, 2007 at 12:26 am

    We live right on the west coast of california (monterey bay) and need not only a drought tolerant grass, but one that thrives in salt air — does anyone know of no-mow, salt air tolerant, minimal water requiring tiles? i’d love to use them on an upstairs deck! any and all info would be helpful

  11. EPIC SELF » The F... August 22, 2007 at 2:38 am

    […] goes on and on and on and on…you get the point. Toyota has even jumped on board by creating Green Roofing Tiles to make the process even easier. Plus you could have gorgeous flowers blooming on your roof every […]

  12. Jorg Breuning August 16, 2007 at 9:00 am

    I can see that many are interested in costs. A typical extensive green roof (4 to 5 inch depth overall), completely installed including 16 Month maintenance costs in Germany approximately $1.80 to $3 a square foot when talking about sizes between 2,000 and 80,000 square foot.
    This is possible because all other things which are not necessary are eliminated. By the way the energy costs (which are a huge part for installation) are 3-4 times higher in Germany.
    If we want to have the well know benefits of green roofs we have to do it on a large scale in a short time. All this small alibi or pilot projects help to promote green roofs but are not really helpful for the environment.
    The cost in the US (depending on Union issues) can drop below $ 8 sqft. when the project is large enough. I am dedicated to get these costs further down – and you all can help. Do it simple with standardize components – do it big and efficient.
    I am happy that nobody was talking about LEED…..

  13. Slaney August 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Does anyone know if the Toyota Roof Garden is sold in the United States?

  14. Really Green Roof &laqu... June 26, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    […] Inhabitat points us to Toyota Roof Garden Corp (a subsidiary of the company that brings us the Hybrid Prius). Their Green Roof Tiles are 20 inches square, 2 inches thick, self-irrigating and less than fifty bucks a unit. […]

  15. Vanessa Jones June 18, 2007 at 10:07 am

    How can you actually order the Green Tiles? And does anyone know of a company doing something similar in England?

  16. B rian Wegener May 1, 2007 at 11:21 am

    A modular system similar to Toyota’s (but not lawn) is available from an Oregon company. Check out

  17. William White April 21, 2007 at 11:33 am

    That’s one pricey roof folks. And what about mowing it? Looks like the beginnings of a good idea, how about some details.

  18. Kevin April 21, 2007 at 10:49 am

    I’ll think that I’m going to wait until I don’t have to water my roof.

  19. Margaret March 20, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    I don’t know that Botanicals Nursery has a web site but they are located in Wayland, MA and their phone number is 508-596-2518

  20. Zach March 20, 2007 at 11:51 am

    For a bunch of know-it-alls you guys are pathetic with math. With 20″ squares you get 20″ (~1.6 ft.) X 20″ = 400 in.^2.
    400/144 = ~2.77 sq. ft.

    So each ’tile’ costs ~$15.50 per square foot. High, but not unreasonable for what the market will bear at least on smaller than 10,000 ft.^2 installs. If their green roofs are as good as their cars, its a decent deal. Better than the gaqrbage “Roof Rugs” and other spin-offs on the market which die after 2-3 years. Poor engineering. This is why Asia is kicking our as$es.

    I agree with the comments that green roofs have a long way to go. They do. But the concept is excellent and more research and R&D must be done. The stormwater retention benefits alone are worth it,

  21. Gail Pike February 17, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    My husb and I want to put a garden on the roof our ranch style house in Tualatin Oregon. We don’t know how to get started, what to plan for, nothing. Please help.

  22. Linda Shi February 14, 2007 at 11:49 am

    While exciting at first glance, I think this system still has far to go. The purpose of green roofs is to reuse stormwater and decrease wasteful water consumption. Most green roofs therefore use sedums and other native plants that do not need to be irrigated, and that also fit into the local biological cycles (habitat for birds, bees, etc). The Toyota system appears to grow normal “turf” and needs irrigation, which defeats the purpose of the green roof. Also, standard costs for American green roofs (everything included) comes down to $10-15 per square foot (or less, if you’re doing large surface areas). Having surveyed all the mayor green roof suppliers in the U.S., I’ve never seen them at $27/sf. This doesn’t include the waterproofing, but neither does the Toyota system. Definitely easy-to-install systems are the way to broadly disseminate environmental technologies, but this isn’t ideal.

  23. Jörg Breuning January 26, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Japanese saying (translated into English):
    If you want to be lucky over one day, go out and get drunk.
    If you want to be lucky over one week, make a huge party.
    If you want to be lucky over one year, get married.
    If you want to be lucky your entire life, work as a gardener.
    I am a gardener – I have seen many things – coming and going.

  24. amy January 26, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    i just found you. I LOVE THIS SITE! thanks

  25. cara January 26, 2007 at 10:40 am

    where ia this botanicals nursrey?? i cant find a website.

  26. A Green Idea » Bl... January 21, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    […] Green Roof Tiles […]

  27. Emmanuel Onsase January 19, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    THe wole idea behind roof gardens is great. Consaidering the fact that theconsume carbondioxide to produce
    oxygen. It is reallytime that we respond to global warming and pollution in general.Great Work

  28. Quek Siew Liang January 18, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    I do believe one of the the issue is basically irrigation/ cost. There is a alternate product (growing-media) which u may like to know? That is peat substrates which comes in raw compressed form in block shape. It holds 7 times it’s body weight. Should anyone be interested, you can email to me and I post u the pictures/data.
    at :

  29. Chad Sichello January 16, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Please note that the installation shown in the photo: is actually our G-SKY Intensive/Extensive Green Roof system. To learn more about our Green Roof and Wall systems, please visit

    One last note: Many plants, including many sedums and grasses require very little soil to thrive. We have hundreds of installations across Asia and North America with soil bases as little as 1″ that have been thriving for more than 15 years, require very little fertilization and are low-maintenance. If you wish to contact me directly, please email me at

  30. Marguerite January 15, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    In addition to Kees’ coments about media and water retention, part of the visual and ecological value of a good green roof is having diverse plants which are beautiful and useful to wildlife. The Korean sod is ecologically barren, and who wants more lawn, really? There are many other green roof products in the world (beyond toyota’s), some of which have been mentioned above, which offer mixed perennials which need no irrigation, and harbor bugs, birds, and blooms all year long. However, I think any green roof is better than none, so good for toyota to put out the word anyway.

  31. trent bigelow » B... January 15, 2007 at 2:22 am

    […] Don’t have room for a lawn? What about your roof? […]

  32. Kees Govers January 12, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Product has too little media to be sustaniable in continental North America especially when planted with grasses. You need at least 10cm of engineered media (high aggregate content) to have a self sustaining green roof. Contrary to some earlier comments, water retention is not necessary or even desired if the right plants are grown. Unless ofcourse you are growing waterplants on the roof (just remember that water weighs 1kg/L in addition to the weight of the plants). Please refer to a recent publication ‘Green Roof Plants’ by Edmund Snodgrass (Timberpress) for plant selection on an extensive green roof. For a good North American designed alternative type LiveRoof into your search engine.

  33. Jodi Smits Anderson January 11, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    This tile system is only 9psf, requires no irrigation hook-up, and can be planted with a variety of plants and delivered in tiles to your site. About 16$ psf…pricey but not as outrageous as the Toyota product.

    Check it out – hopefully more and more options will come to be.

  34. The Revolution Corporation January 11, 2007 at 3:47 am

    anyone find info on Botanicals Nursery ? if so, please post *

  35. grace January 10, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Very uniform and modern looking, but monocultures generally, especially those needing irrigation, are the most troublesome. Remember the Irish potato famine? Why not different drought-resistant grasses, herbs and wildflowers that birds might want to use?

  36. George January 10, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Nice aesthetic value but from the description it lacks some key elements. For starters the price point is above and beyond the market. Second from what I read and can see the product has no way of retaining water beyond the plant material and growing media. I agree with M. Cockram (U of O) the self watering concept means more energy and effort to keep the plant material healthy. There is a company, Green Living Roofs, ( in the US, their extensive (low growing) system is a pre grown modular system that has the ability to retain over 4 gallons of water per 10 sf. With the use of a variety of sedum species (which can absorb its weight in water in minutes) they have a system that provides a mature green roof with all the environmental benefits, lightweight (8lbs per sf) and can customize specifically for the climate region. For the most part they are half the price of what else is available. The same company also has a living wall system that is the future of green tech.

  37. Green Roof Tiles by Toy... January 10, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    […] And at a slim 2 inches thick, the tiles lightweight and do not require any additional structural upgrading to your existing roof. (more) […]

  38. michael cockram January 10, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    The issue is irrigation – I can’t see any environmental advantage – it would actually take energy and likely treated water to maintain – there are systems out there tht use plants that you don’t need to irrigate – this is a bad idea if it is spun as sustainable…
    M.Cockram Profesor of Architecture U of Oregon

  39. Steve Denbow January 10, 2007 at 10:53 am

    I, too, am curious about a link for the Botanicals Nursery. I ran across a site called that is a nice portal site for green roof technology.

  40. Sloan - Chicago January 10, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Is there some sort of fastening system that will prevent uplift in a windy situation and can these tiles be installed on a pitched roof or just horizontal surfaces?

  41. &... January 10, 2007 at 12:54 am

    […] Inhabitat has a great post today about green roof tiles manufactured by a subsidiary of Toyota called the Toyota Roof Garden Corporation. These 20″ square tiles are intended to be put down like carpet, and their base can connect directly into existing irrigation systems, thus making the tiles self-watering. The tiles are only two inches thick- likely eliminating the need for additional structural support of the underlying roof in most cases- and consist of a type of grass from Korea which only requires cutting once each year. […]

  42. Dianne January 9, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Jeff, is there any kind of link to the product you are talking about?

  43. Jeff Licht, EdD, Progra... January 9, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    You might want to take a look at a product from Botanicals Nursery in New England. Their unique 15″ square system requires no irrigation, is evergreen, hardy into Canada, infiltrates a lot of storm water, reduces roof membrane heat in summer and is an excellent application for any impervious surface. We use them exclusively on all of our school projects. Last, it is much cheaper PSF than the price you mentioned for the turf product.

  44. Dave January 9, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    With the cost being approximately $27 per square foot ($43 per 20″x20″ tile) does that incude the cost of installation and what type of underlayment or moisture-protective roof system does this product require?

  45. Emily January 9, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Julie- unfortunately, Toyota Roof Gardens only has the Japanese site right now. There is an additional informational site within Toyota’s main website, but it does not provide specific information about the rooftiles:


  46. Helen Williams January 9, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    How about fertilizer for year 3 or 4 or 20. Will there be enough decaying matter to sustain growth?

  47. fred January 9, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Can one walk on it?
    Can it withstand the weight of snow / ice ? (for some places like, say, Montreal, QC)

  48. Juliie Stewart-Pollack January 9, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for introducing this exciting product but when I click the Toyota Roof Garden link on your site it is in Japanese. They do have a website in English you might want to add for your English speaking readers.

  49. rosenlof/lucas landscap... January 9, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Super cool. What about zone/climate info info on these. Are they hearty for the north?

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