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Environment | Wildlife

Green roofs are becoming a popular part of building design

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!