A green roof is a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier, drainage and irrigation systems.
So what is the point of a green roof? There are many benefits associated with these structures:
- Natural habitat creation promoting biodiversity, encouraging a wide range of insects, birds and butterflies, particularly in areas where the habitat has been lost.
- They help to absorb and break down gaseous pollutants out of the air, this can help lower rates of respiratory diseases such as asthma.
- They trap dust.
- Recycle CO₂.
- Filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater.
- Help to insulate a building for sound; the soil helps to block lower frequencies and the plants block higher frequencies,
- If installed correctly many living roofs can contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a third-party certification program which is a nationally accepted organization for design, operation and construction of high performance green buildings.
- Increase agricultural space.
- Water is stored by the substrate and then taken up by the plants from where it is returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation.
- Green roofs not only retain rainwater, but also moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for any of the water that happens to run off.
- Reduce heat loss and energy consumption in winter months.
- Reduce cooling loads on a building by fifty to 90% – a concentration of green roofs in an urban area can even reduce the city’s average temperatures during the summer.
- Absorb rainfall that would normally run straight off hard surfaces (therefore important to help with storm water attenuation and reduction of urban flooding).
- Improve the aesthetic image of urban jungles.
- Increase a feeling of well-being amongst local residents.
Seems like a no brainer to us at Ecofrenzy!