Benefits of installing a green roof
An Installation of a green roof has many benefits to public, private, social, and economic areas, as well as the earth as a whole. Every installation is unique but provide similar functions. How a green roof will perform will depend on the building, climate, region, and the type of green roof used.
Thinking of installing a green roof? Here are some benefits…
Minimisation of excess rain water
During heavy rainfall, excess water runoff may overwhelm drainage systems, which can lead to sizable damage to waterways, streams and bank, which will of course affect fish habitats.
Any excessive rain that escapes the roof is decreased in volume and slowed down. The absorption of runoff also alleviates the stress on sewers and other drainage infrastructure.
Green roof systems (with the help of plants? absorb rainwater return some of this moisture to the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration.
Green roofs, if enough are installed, will save costs on drainage maintenance and expansion.
It is also possible to collect rainwater in mosquito-poof containers on rooftops to reduce overflow.
Green roofs help insulate a building – less heat can escape / enter. This provides considerable cost savings as less energy is needed for heating or cooling. It has been shown that using a green roof installation is more effective than internal insulation.
During winter, heat loss is minimised by extra insulation.
During summer, the building is protected from direct sun heat.
The subsequent energy conservation leads to less greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping the environment.
Air quality improvement
Plant leaves trap dust particles in the air and atmospheric temperatures are cooled by evapotranspiration. As a result, less heat and reduced ground level ozone means less smog. An improvement in air quality also leads to a reduced need for health-care services resulting in community savings and less sick people!
Green roofs as a habitat
Green rooftops, if left undisturbed, can provide sanctuary for animals that are struggling to survive due to urbanisation and resultant environmental changes. These include ground-nesting birds like the Skylark, which use green roofs to nest and raise their young.
Green roofs can also increase biodiversity. How much will depend on the green roof type that has been installed. A good green roof designed for biodiversity would have a varied substrate (e.g. soil) depth and be planted / seeded with a wide range of wildflowers and succulents.
Even a range of insects will find their way on to an extensive green roof.
Green roofs last longer
Green roofs protect the waterproofing membrane from sunlight UV rays and temperature fluctuations. Waterproofing lasts twice as long with green roofing compared to traditional roofing. As a result, the the lifespan of the membranes below green roofs is twice as long too. This means there is less material waste from roof repairs / maintenance and of course saves money in the long run.
Life cycle expenses
Even though a green roof costs more to install than a traditional rooftop, it has a competitive life cycle cost so will save money long term.
Green roofs put to use unused space within our town and cities. The rooftops can recreational spaces or urban agriculture.
Green roofs also offer a nice view for neighbours in adjacent buildings. The also allow for creativity and productivity.
Since the green roof industry is a new and increasingly popular idea, it offers employment opportunities such as the manufacture and supply of roofing membranes and drainage layers, root repellent layers, irrigation systems, curbs, landscaping cloth, and other specialty items. Also the manufacture and supply of substrate, soils and plants. They provide design and engineering jobs, as well as employment for landscapers, gardeners and maintenance contract companies.
Another great benefit of green roofing is the possibility of grants aimed towards the environment or improving urbanised areas.
They also provide a nice place for hospital patients which can reduce medication needs and helps them to relax.
There are also opportunities for recycling of compost and aggregate.
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Image courtesy of Archdaily