India-based developer plans for green rooftops residential community in Frisco

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A brand new residential development never before seen in the United States is on its way to Frisco.

India-based Total Environment is planning a 121-home community distinguished by its houses with native plants covering the domed rooftops.

City leaders have called the development innovative, beautiful and a risk, and the one question Shashi Ketu gets asked often is, “Will I have to mow my roof?”

The answer is no, residents will not have to mow their roofs, said Ketu, Total Environment’s CEO for Texas Operations. Given that this is the first Total Environment project in the country, Ketu has fielded a lot of questions from city staff and residents.

The idea behind these homes is to blur the lines between the indoors and the outdoors, Ketu said. Total Environment has built apartments and single-family homes in India, each either with its own garden or green rooftop.

“It’s about using natural materials; it’s about bringing the outdoors inside; it’s about designing and building around nature,” Ketu said.

The company has looked to expand into the United States for some time and at one point considered properties in California, Ketu said. But after seeing the population growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Ketu said he began looking in Texas. He said he found the right culture and the “perfect” property in Frisco.

“It’s probably the most beautiful piece of property in North Dallas,” he said. “We wanted water, we wanted trees, and we got both of that on the property.”

Home design

Total Environment is working with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas to incorporate native plants into the development, including the plants on the rooftops.

The plants on the rooftops will be maintained by the community’s homeowner’s association. HOA representatives will only need to access the rooftops four times a year, and the roofs are designed to prevent other people or animals from wandering on top of them, Ketu said.

Besides the native plants on the roofs, each home comes with multiple gardens, including private gardens at the back of the house and a garden that overlooks the driveway at the front of the house. Ketu said the homeowners can choose to tend to their own garden or hire landscapers contracted through the community.

“Every part of the house, every space in the house either looks into a garden, or you’ll be able to step into a garden,” Ketu said.

A construction start date has not been set, but Ketu said construction should begin this year. The homes are expected to be sold at $1 million each.

“It’s been designed with a particular philosophy and vision in mind, which, again, is [being]very close to nature,” he said. “It’s going to be a community that you want to be in because of the way it feels and looks.”

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Lindsey Juarez
Lindsey has been involved in newspapers in some form since high school. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. While attending UTA, she worked for The Shorthorn, the university's award-winning student newspaper. She was hired as Community Impact Newspaper's first Frisco reporter in 2014. Less than a year later, she took over as the editor of the Frisco edition. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics and issues important to the community, including the city's affordable housing shortage, the state's controversial A-F school accountability system and the city's "Bury the Lines" efforts.
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