Rooftop Garden Units

by Tarek Hosny

   Cairo, Egypt

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This Challenge aims to create a second source of income for low income areas, as well as help those who are interested in growing their own food, by creating a cost-competitive, high yield rooftop farm.

A lot of people still struggle with maintaining a regular income, or maintaining one sufficient enough for them and their families. According to the World Bank around 25% of population were living below the national poverty line in the year 2010. Schaduf have a method to help these people and provide them with a way to grow their own food as well as a source of income.
Schaduf specializes in providing inspired urban green solutions to elevate the quality of life through environmental and social change. Their aim is to lift water, sunshine and life to barren concrete walls and roofs through rooftop farms. Rooftop farms or rooftop garden units are now becoming more and more popular around the world, as it’s becoming easier to install and maintain. Schaduf aims to use it to help low income areas earn a secondary source of income, as well as help those who are interested in growing their own food.

In addition to helping low income families, this method provides the other important values to the society:

1- It is considered a simpler and much more efficient way to grow food.
2- It is easy and fast to install and to maintain at a economic benefit/ yield.
3- It’s also easy to have more than one “farm” on a single unit, depending on the rooftop’s size.
4- It’s moveable.
5- It will look nice.

We invite all interested innovators to create 2 units as follows:

  • The size of 1 unit should not exceed 2.5m x 2m
  • Output per unit should be ~ 150 plants
  • Each unit should cost ~750 EGP (on a mass produced level)
  • Units (or components assembled on site) have to fit in narrow stair cases (1m width).
  • Material type is flexible
  • Keep in mind that plants need water and sun, and plant roots need oxygen (is typically in soil and when using hydroponic soil, otherwise the roots need to either not be entirely in water or artificial oxygen is added, bubbles like in fish tanks). Check video in below link for information on plant needs
  • Shading is also important during heavy sun, as well as covering during cold winter months and to protect from birds.

The award total will be 7000 EGP, given as follows:

  • 2 solvers will be selected, each will be given 1000 EGP to make 2 prototypes.
  • The winner will be given 5,000 EGP.


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