If you’re visiting our site, you’re probably already pretty familiar with the green roof concept. However, beyond the usual water cooler buzz, there are some surprising benefits you may not already know:
Green roofs aren’t new.
Like their medieval antecedents, modern green roofs were developed to respond to a need, but that is where the similarity between the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon and today’s green roofs end. Green roofs were made possible by modern advances in waterproofing technology, horticulture and water science. Revived in Europe, primarily by the Germans, as a response to regional ecological and urban planning challenges, the modern green roof is flourishing. When properly designed and engineered with modern techniques and materials, they result in a stable, living ecosystem that replicate many of the processes found in nature. All while providing you some pretty nice perks to boot.
Green roof environmental impact is more than meets the eye.
Sure, green roofs look green — sometimes. But the ecological benefits for most urban environments, not to mention the planet, are arguably far greener. Green roofs are eco-machines that:
- Control stormwater runoff, erosion and pollution; improving water quality and reducing strain on city stormwater systems
- Evaporate moisture from the plants; cooling the air above and the building below
- Store heat energy during the day like a huge green battery, slowly releasing it at night and retarding heat transfer into the building or into the air above
- Extend the life of the underlying waterproofing membrane by two to three times, reducing both your costs and landfill byproducts
- Create natural wildlife (and human!) habitat
Green roofs take the storm out of stormwater.
Charlie will tell you that rain is a big deal. Improperly handled, runoff causes major trouble in urban environments, from erosion and flooding to polluting ground water and waterways. Green roofs control the chaos by mimicking natural processes: intercepting and delaying runoff at the source by capturing and holding precipitation in media and plant foliage, absorbing water in the root zone and slowing direct runoff to a manageable velocity. For small showers, most of the precipitation is captured and evaporated into the atmosphere. For larger storms, vegetated roof covers can significantly delay and dissipate the flow preventing flooding and combined sewer overflows (CSOs). When compared with other management practices, green roofs are an effective, unobtrusive, reliable and low maintenance way to control runoff. Particularly when implemented on large-scale roof systems, such as commercial and institutional buildings, or in already heavily urbanized areas.
With Charlie’s extensive background in water resource engineering it’s obviously a topic we’re pretty passionate about. Read more on Stormwater Performance Simulation for deeper info on blue-green technologies and how we can help.
Green roofs add serious value.
What was once subject to mechanical, UV, and extreme temperature fluxuations is now protected. Your roof’s service life is increased – sometimes by two to three times. Green roofs can prove to be a smart, cost-effective investment in response to progressive stormwater regulations. Using a green roof to provide required runoff control conserves valuable property space for commercial use. Plus, depending on the building, its orientation, the green roof profile, and the regional climate, green roofs also can play a role in reducing energy costs. All of which comes along with the much-appreciated serious increase in property values.
People notice green roofs
Because they represent a real investment in the environment, the PR benefits of green roof installation can be huge. It’s a fact we take to heart by enhancing your post-construction marketing with small mockups, signage copy and more. With the web delivering your news, sometimes even via live webcams, to green- minded consumers and constituents, the results can be nearly instantaneous. Plus, when combined with mixed-use retail development including retail and condos, a green roof becomes not only a selling point, but a gathering place tenants will cherish for a long time to come.
When a green roof looks good. You feel good.
Which would you rather look at: black tar or a lush meadow? We’re guessing the latter, which is why Roofmeadow has cultivated a unique expertise in designing and sustaining naturalized meadow green roof assemblies. These relatively low-maintenance roof meadows can often thrive without irrigation and provide all the environmental and biodiversity benefits of natural meadows on the ground. And, they happen to be really good at doing what green roofs do. So you can feel good about what you do, too.