In recent years, green roofs have become the hottest trend in roof design. Even Habitat for Humanity has jumped on the bandwagon, creating its first green roof for a low-income housing unit in the South Bronx.
The term “green roof” refers to any roof that supports living vegetation. The benefits are personal and environmental when it comes to green roofing.
The thoughts behind the new push for environmentally friendly green roofing technologies have been used for centuries, but the latest innovations in roofing materials have caused a resurgence.
Many architects and contractors around the world are using new green roofing technologies to make wonderful rooftop gardens that are being used to grow organic materials as well as profits. These green roofs can also help to utilize the hot sun instead of letting it reflexively contribute to the current state of the environment.
With most typical roofing materials, solar heat cooks the surface of the roof, which in turn makes its way into the interior of the building. A true state of the art green roof will assemble all of the rainwater and the sun’s rays to be used in maintaining a self-sustained environment for the growth of produce or a gorgeous rooftop getaway.
Some commercial building owners around the world are also taking these gorgeous rooftop garden chairs and leasing them out to biotech companies and nurseries. This can take an interval that would normally not have a profit option and turn it into a way of earning more on the building as a whole.
The process that goes into making any type of green roofing project is not that different from other types of roofing projects, but the benefits are so much greater than a standard roof.
Besides the fact that green roofing materials are environmentally friendly and help to cut the rising cost of utility bills, these roofs also qualify for tax credits offered by the state and the centralized government. These credits can be pretty substantial, but it is an excellent thought to consult a tax professional when considering any type of environmentally friendly construction project that could qualify.
Read on to find out why you might want to consider creating a green oasis on your own rooftop.
Why Are Green Roofs So Popular?
In addition to having a personal park or beautiful garden growing on your rooftop, there are dozens of practical benefits to having a green roof.
Benefits for the homeowner can include:
- Lower energy bills, such as green roofs, cool the home in the summer and insulate several degrees in the winter.
- A longer lifetime for your roof. The soil on a green roof blocks sunlight that may break down roofing material over time.
- Green roofs can help protect the waterproofing on your roof.
- Less noise. The layers of plants and soil in a green roof help insulate noise and keep it where it belongs–outside your home.
- Longer life for your HVAC system. Less strain on your heating and air conditioning units mean they will last longer.
Some environmental benefits are:
- Improved air quality. Plants clear the air of harmful pollutants emitted by cars and trucks, and they take carbon dioxide out of the air.
- Birds and butterflies will flock to your green roof, finding refuge in the oxygen and living habitat provided there.
- Reduced stormwater runoff, which means less strain on public sewage systems that can cause flooding and polluted water.
- If enough structures embrace green roofing, the combined effect can significantly alter climate change for the better.
Can My Home Support a Green Roof?
Weight is the main concern for existing homes when it comes to considering a green roof. However, a lightweight green roof is achievable on a roof with a pitch of fewer than thirty degrees. If you have access to your home’s attic, where load-bearing structures can be reinforced with additional materials, then your possibilities expand considerably.
There’s no reason your garden has to stop where your home begins. Embrace the many positive elements of green roofing and open up a world of benefit to you and the environment.
Modern green roofs are a relatively new trend dating back to parts of Europe in the sixties, but the principles have been around for centuries. New roofing technologies have given way to better waterproofing materials which have allowed for more options when considering green roofs for all types of buildings.
There are two vital types of green roofs which require different techniques when implementing their design. The two types are either intensive or extensive. Intensive green roofs are currently seeing the largest growth in the commercial field. This roof design offers a usable place that requires more maintenance, whereas an extensive green roof has been the most commonly seen type of roof in Europe for centuries and requires nearly no maintenance.
Intensive green roofs typically have deeper planting beds and require bonus irrigation but can be used to grow gardens of vegetables or trees. These green roofs can turn an otherwise unused rooftop into a place that can be leased out or used as a simple rooftop park.
An extensive green roof only needs to be monitored and might need someone to fertilize and weed it once a year. These green roofs are best used on buildings that do not have simple accessibility to the roof or on roofs with a pitch like the typical home.