What Are Green Roofs and Why Deciding to Choose One?

When it comes to various and numerous issues around green roofing, there is a rich and huge literature worldwide treating this subject of growing interest. However, one thing is certain – green roof definition which says, “A green roof is a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system that is installed on top of a flat or slightly–sloped roof”.

What are Green Roofs and Why Deciding to Choose One

Green Roof Types

There are three main types of green roofs:

  • Extensive green roofs – which are usually less accessible and have a thinner growing medium (six inches or even less), covered with hardy, self-sustainable plants within a limited plant diversity and with the roof load requiring minimal watering,
  • Intensive green roofs – which are most often accessible and have a deeper growing medium (sometimes going up to several feet) enabling thus a more diverse plant selection, including larger plants and trees, to be efficiently supported. Logically, they need more frequent and careful maintenance and watering.
  • Semi–intensive roofs – containing features of both types.

A green roof is actually a roofing system that uses plants for roof covering rather than the conventional waterproof materials. It is most important to be properly noted that the proper depth for any green roof would primarily depend on the following elements:

  • The chosen plants,
  • The annual rainfall,
  • The roof structure,
  • The storm-water performance requirements.

Benefits and Advantages of Green Roofs

Prior to elaborating further on the topic, let us simply number the main advantages and benefits, public and private, of deciding to have one for yourself.

Public and Environmental Benefits: reduce storm-water runoff, reduce smog and improve air quality, reduce energy demand, reduce noise, reduce city “ Urban Heat Island” effect (UHI), improve aesthetics, provide green space, reduce carbon monoxide impact, remove nitrogen pollution from rain, neutralize acid rain effect, prevent combined sewer overflow, provide habitat for wildlife, contribute to landfill diversion, local job creation;

Private Owners Benefits: storm-water management tool, expand regular roof life 2 to 3 times, reduce winter heating costs, reduce air-conditioning costs, up to 15 LEED credits, government and municipality incentives, transform dead space into garden space, improve public relations.

Those ones being environmentally-conscious actually save a lot of money since they are not only opting for using green technologies to help reduce the negative impact of humans on the environment but they base it on the use of natural  materials and energy efficiency of green roofing to do the job for them. It has now become rather obvious that, with deciding for raising a green roof, there are huge benefits and prospects for bringing welfare to both individuals and the communities globally. To put it simply, the ongoing trending of environmental issues has been ever more developing and growing which then actually results in prompted and increased interest in green roofs worldwide. There are many options available nowadays as regards roofing systems, materials and technology and many people find themselves in a challenging position when deciding what to finally choose.

To resume, green roofs obviously offer a rather interesting number of environmental and financial advantages over traditional roofing systems, so let’s number some of them here bellow.

Environmental benefits: you would just be using (the) nature to help you by doing useful things for you while doing the very natural business of its own – growing and blossoming on the top of your roof! Your roof would be really well protected by all that vegetation cover and incomparably more beneficially and efficiently than any other traditional waterproof material. Your green roof would be absorbing rainwater in such a huge volume that it significantly reduces the amount of rainwater running into sewage systems. The rainwater absorbed by plants is then released into the air via condensation at the same time filtering heavy metals and other pollutants in rainwater. You may rest assured that there is not going to be any leaking since your roof is built in layers consisting not only of plants and growing mediums like soil but it also includes a waterproof membrane.

  • Insulation – is also a great advantage of green roofs since the plants, growing mediums and other roofing layers absorb the heat from the air keeping the building warmer during winters and blocking the heat during summer months which obviously means a significant reduction on the side of heating and cooling costs.In addition, green roofs also provide us with an excellent sound insulation.
  • Purification of the air- is another major advantage of green roofs. It is commonly known that plants filter air pollutants, with including carbon dioxide, and release oxygen into the air which is especially helpful in urban areas lacking parks and green oasis. Green roof systems with larger plants, full lawns and trees actually bring nature into the urban areas and even attract wildlife including some rare birds and insects.Moreover, people can enjoy in creating gardens and growing their own flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Financial benefits: to briefly mention here only a few of the green roofing advantages:

  • A very long life span- up to 50 years even, which is a remarkably long life.
  • Significant savings on heating and cooling -which is estimated to be coming over 50%.
  • Increasing the market value of your home.

Contributed by http://www.skywindowsnj.com

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