Rooftop Expansion: Anyone Up for a Game of Bocce?

Bocce game held on a green roof in Washington, D.C. A Washington, D.C. bocce league has moved their games to the rooftops. Image: DC Bocce League

Need some space for outdoor activities? Look up. Condo roofs are not just for gardening anymore.

We’ve all heard about people who plant a rooftop community garden to help improve the environment and eke out more space in urban areas, but how about a rooftop bocce court?

Personally, I’d want to wear a hard hat if I were walking below a building where folks are playing the Italian lawn bowling game on the roof. But bocce is just one of the cool things folks in Washington, D.C., are doing on their roof these days, according to a feature in today’s Modesto Bee.

Specifically, a local bocce league is holding its games atop an apartment complex since playing space is hard to come by.

The main issues to consider if you want to expand the purpose of your roof are zoning regulations and weight capacity, according to the article. “The bottom line is (its) structure has to be sound for you to add anything to it or even just hang out on it,” Kat Harrold, assistant green roof designer at Green Roof Service in Bel Air, Md., said.”

Other D.C. residents are using rooftops to raise bees and creating artwork with gravel sourced from a local quarry, in addition to the more common green roofs.

If you’re living in a condo with a flat roof, unused roof space might offer an opportunity to add amenities that would raise the value of your unit. Given the current economy, your condo board probably isn’t up for a big capital improvement right now, but it’s an interesting idea to tuck away and pull out as the market turns around.

What’s on the roof of your condo building?