Rooftop Real Estate

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Author: Judee Shipman


Grade Level


Difficulty Level




Safety Issues


Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Project Time Frame

4-8 weeks



This project reveals (perhaps) a hidden real estate market. 

The goals of this project are: 

  1. To increase the space efficiency of living areas.
  2. To encourage economic improvements via fresh new real estate ideas. 

Materials and Equipment

  • Computer with internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board)
  • One GIGANTIC imagination 

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay. 


Will Rogers once said, “Buy land. They’ve stopped making it.” Don’t be so sure. This project analyzes the many unexplored possibilities of rooftops. Flat rooftops can be found everywhere. The denser the population, the more rooftops! These can be used for just about anything from farming vegetables to landing helicopters. They could also be connected by walkways, couldn’t they? Can you imagine an entire city above a city?     

Research Questions 
  1. What are some possible uses for the space on a flat rooftop?
  2. How structurally strong are rooftops? 
  3. What are laws regarding the use of rooftops?
  4. In what way can the development of rooftop real estate improve the economy? 
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research 
  • Real Estate
  • City Planning    

Experimental Procedure 

  1. Research related materials (see bibliography below)
  2. Create or obtain an aerial map showing many rooftops (try Google Earth!).
  3. Design a workable, cost-effective, use for these spaces.
  4. Build a model that illustrates your idea.
  5. Suggest the ways in which your plan could actually be put into effect.
  6. Carefully describe your ideas in a detailed report.
  7. Include interesting photos in your science fair display, as well as your map(s) and model. 


Wiki topic: “Wrigley Rooftops”

Internet searches of your own choosing: Search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you. Have fun surfing the net!



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