Rooftop Gardens grow better with WaterUps®

Inbuilt wicking technology overcomes water issues

Rooftop Gardens improve liveability of buildings and cities while combating heat and flood issues


Across Australia and around the world, rooftop gardens are increasingly used in commercial and civic buildings, hotels, private residences and accommodation blocks and public spaces. WaterUps is able to provide the wicking technology that makes these installations more water-efficient and enduring. 

Rooftop gardens offer our cities many benefits including: 

  • Managing stormwater and wastewater  
  • Improving insulation of buildings– better energy performance and quieter buildings 
  • Cooling a building and helping to reduce urban heat 
  • Filtering airborne particles – cleaner air, less smog 
  • Productive and aesthetic use of spaces for living and relaxation 
  • Productive food gardens 
  • Habitats for birds and bees 
  • Prolonging the roof of a building 
  • Improving the Real Estate value of a building 
  • Enhancing the cultural life and identity of a city 

Watch this video to see how the rooftop garden at the New York Convention Centre has saved them $3million annually in power and supported 25 bird species. 

WaterUps is the ideal solution for Rooftop Gardens

WaterUps® can help rooftop gardens manage climate change in four key related ways:

  • Urban Heat Management
  • Plant Survival
  • Ease of Watering & Water Savings
  • Flood Management
Urban Heat Management, Plant Survival & Water Savings

For Rooftop gardens to be effective they need healthy thriving plants. Plants on rooftops are more exposed to wind and sun, therefore needing more water to survive. 

WaterUps uses unique wicking technology that sits inside a reservoir underneath a garden bed or tree bed. The wicks draw the water up into the bottom of the soil layer where, through capillary action, the moisture spreads and is drawn up by the plant as required.  

This solution is better than top-down watering systems for rooftop gardens in five ways: 

    • The water is not close to the surface so less likely to evaporate. 
    • A WaterUps Wicking system in a raised garden bed uses 20% of the water used in surface watering (sprays, drip irrigation). This means you water the garden bed less often. 
    • Watering from the top relies on gravity to get to plant roots while also evaporating in the process 
    • WaterUps can be interconnected under the ground with only one or a few above ground inlet pipes. This saves breakage and UV deterioration of various parts of other solutions. 
    • Plants grown in WaterUps beds have been proven to be stronger and more resilient. This means WaterUps rooftop gardens will thrive with far less evapotranspiration and maintenance than other approaches and do what they are designed to do. 
Flood Management

For most, urban heat management is a given, but flood management? Approximately one square metre of WaterUps wicking cells will store 101 litres or water. This makes them a great rain capture and storage system, reducing the impact of intense rain events in our cities. 

In Toronto, Canada, over 700 rooftop gardens are now doing just that while providing additional usable space and food farms. 

Since 2005 Toronto has suffered six major flood events, exacerbated by roads, footpaths and buildings not absorbing rain downpour. As a result, stormwater floods the city’s sewerage system onto the streets. This is an issue also experienced in many Australian and International cities.

In 2021 Toronto became the first city in North America to make green roofs or rooftop gardens mandatory for all large new buildings. Their rooftop gardens equal 73 football fields, capturing up to 70 percent of rainwater during storms and sustaining a number of thriving urban farm enterprises, bolstering fresh food supplies. 

Internationally, rooftop gardens have been used extensively in Madrid for decades as a cooling device and more recently in Italy. UK, Canada, North America and France to cool buildings, avoid flooding, grow food locally and provide better natural habitats. 

Rooftop Gardens are the future for Australia

In Australia a palm focused rooftop garden first appeared in a Brisbane high-rise penthouse at Southbank in the late 1970s. Now, Australia’s next Olympic City, has paved the way for a rooftop garden revolution that will see the skyline turn green by 2032. It’s an exciting time for developers, architects and landscape designers. 

WaterUps is suitable for extensive and intensive green rooftop planting. Our products are scalable, allowing nearly any shape or form of rooftop garden to support the majority of plant types from succulents through to vegetables through to tropicals. 

They can be used in long border garden beds, food gardens and tree tubs to create exciting and sustaining outdoor spaces and gardens.  

To date, WaterUps has been used in commercial buildings in Sydney, in hotels in Tasmania and private rooftop residences in several states, with plants performing well while requiring little attention.

Aside from providing major savings in Water, our products are made from 100% recycled plastic helping to boost the sustainability rating of buildings. 

WaterUps helps architects and city planners bring their vision of rooftop gardens to life and ensure they endure. 


Consulting Service to Landscape Architects

WaterUps is available to provide a consulting service and advice to landscape architects recommending or installing WaterUps in large-scale rooftop gardens for the first time.

Get in touch via our Contact page.