Tony explains that the green roof is planted with sour figs – a very sturdy succulent that requires very little water and that spreads quickly. The numerous benefits of a planted roof include rainwater runoff, a reduction of the home’s carbon footprint since it redirects the soil displaced when the foundation was laid, and carbon dioxide absorption. Plants also give off oxygen and improve the overall air quality, something that is especially important in urban areas.
Tony and Duncan have been working closely with the South African government to create a sustainable new industry that will foster job creation and encourage the development of a greener economy. To date they have been given permission to establish a secure two hectare farm where they will grow one of the planet’s most diverse fibers that can be used to build homes, make carpets, lamps, and clothes, and best of all, that can be harvested a fast four months after it is planted. As for the house: it’s every bit as cool and comfortable as you’d expect from a hemp house, plus it has all the amenities of any modern home built out of less friendly materials.