While we are all thinking green with St. Patrick’s Day approaching, here’s a post on the fascinating green roof trend in building design and landscape architecture. Green roofs are an increasingly exciting and environmentally friendly feature in new building design and rehabilitation. A comprehensive international database of nearly 1,200 green roofs currently in existence worldwide is available through the following weblink to greenroofs.com. The following are some of the principal benefits of installing a green roof on your home, office, or business:
Aesthetic: Green roofs provide aesthetic and visual benefits to the property owner and the surrounding community.
Air quality: The plants grown on the green roof help filter out airborne pollutants. Plant photosynthesis also lowers the negative impact of carbon dioxide and produces oxygen.
Economics: Green roofs can extend the life of a conventional roof by protecting the roof surface from ultraviolet (UV) light, large temperature fluctuations, and normal wear and tear.
Energy conservation: Green roofs reduce the need for energy to heat house in winter and cool it in summer. The vegetated layer insulates the interior. Additionally, the natural evapotranspiration process results in cooling of roof surfaces in summer. Buffering the structure from winter winds helps reduce heat loss.
Gardens: Green roofs can incorporate family flower or vegetable gardens. Careful plant selection creates both habitat and a food supply for songbirds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
Sound adsorption: Green roofs are good sound insulators reducing the impact of noise to areas below the roof.
Stormwater management: Green roofs reduce stormwater runoff so there is less water directed into storm drains or nearby streams. This also can help reduce erosion during storm events.
Urban heat island reduction: Cities have microclimates characterized by the urban area being warmer than surrounding countryside. Green roofs absorb heat and lower ambient temperature thus aiding in the reduction of urban heat island impact.