Chances are we’ve all seen a green roof (also known as a living roof) at one time or another, but how many of us know the true purpose of these unconventional roofs?
If by chance you are unfamiliar with the concept, here is a brief definition: “a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane” (Wikipedia, 2015). These types of roofs have been used for over half a century, and are especially apparent in Europe, where they were first developed. Here in North America, the technology has also been used for many years, however the popularity and knowledge of its benefits is only recently becoming known and embraced. Here are four main benefits of implementing a green roof:
- Green roofs reduce the building’s energy consumption
As depicted in the following picture, the layers of vegetation act as an added insulation to the roof, thus reducing the effects of direct solar heat in the warmer months, as well as decreasing the loss of heat in the colder months. In turn, this significantly reduces total energy consumption, which is great for the wallet. In addition to cost savings, this form of external insulation also helps in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Green roofs create a use for stormwater
If you think about it, when it rains on traditional roofs, the water simply collects in the rain gutters and drains onto the ground, and never gets the chance to be recycled and used. With green roofs, storm water is absorbed and retained by the plants and other vegetation, reducing stormwater runoff and then, through evaporation, returns back to the atmosphere. It really is a win-win situation.
- Green roofs can reduce noise
Are you bothered by the planes, trains and automobiles that are creating noise outside your home or office? This might be the winning reason you implement a green roof. Not only does the vegetation of a green roof act as an insulator to regulate temperature, it also acts as an acoustic insulator. LiveRoof’s testing has indicated that green roofs “can reduce indoor sound by as much as 40 decibels” (LiveRoof, 2016).
- Green roofs can improve aesthetic
Finally, while green roofs offer many environmental benefits, they are also a great way to improve the aesthetic of your home or office building. Installing a green roof can instantly change a regular shingle-covered roof into a beautiful, natural addition. You can also customize your green roof to the type of look you are going for; whether that be a modern look, a rustic look, etc. According to LiveRoof, the natural views that green roofs offer help encourage a more productive, healthy, relaxed, and creative life.
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