What’s a green roof?
Of all the different roofing options available, none are more environmentally friendly than a green roof. Any kind of roof that is covered with living plants can be called a green roof. You can even have a green roof by putting specialized containers or trays with plants on them for a cheaper option.
What are the benefits?
Aside from looking lovely, green roofing will absorb rainwater runoff, give your home an additional layer of insulation, extend the building’s lifespan, and even provide fresh vegetables.
An average of 90% of rainfall is absorbed by green roofing so drainage requirements will be more relaxed. You also get the added benefit of the garden cleaning up the pollutants in the water before it goes down your drains.
What are the downsides?
Initial costs will be through the roof. This is likely the most expensive roofing options in today’s market. Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to consult a designer and have an engineer review your home. Also it’s much more high maintenance.
How do I get one?
To make a green roof, you need to install a waterproof membrane above your current roof, utilize lightweight soil, pick low maintenance plants, and optionally add an automatic irrigation system.
You can have 2-4 inches of soil for extensive green power or you can opt for soil a few feet deep for more diverse plant options if you want an intensive green roof. Your plant options will depend on your climate and average rainfall.
How does it affect my home?
Aside from the mentioned benefits, your home will be noticeably more comfortable with cleaner air and lowered energy costs. The waterproof membrane will keep the home exterior safe from UV rays and interior temperatures will rarely, if ever, fluctuate. Your home will stay cool and even become quieter. The quietness will be especially noticeable during heavy rain since water will hit soft soil instead of rattling a hard roof.
What happens if everybody gets one?
The impact on the surrounding environment will be terrific! All homes will be more visually appealing as a certain theme is achieved in your surrounding area and overall energy consumption will be at an all-time low. Lower energy consumption means that you now have a environment saving roof
But the most obvious benefit will be in temperature. “Urban heat island” is a term coined to describe overheating in urban areas due to extensive paved concrete attracting heat. The hotter temperature results in more money spent on air-conditioning, causing further harm to the environment. Some cities like Long Island and Queens, NY are actually offering incentive programs for homes and buildings to have green roofing put in so as to minimize or even counteract the effect.
What are the costs?
If you are building a green roof from scratch, costs will be around $10 to $25 per square foot. Your roof’s lifespan will increase but total costs can be 3 times as much as a regular roof. Flat roofing or low slope roofing low sloped roofing will be easier to work with and are likely to be cheaper.
This article about "Going Green" roofing has been contributed by Ben Wright: Ben is a contributor for Roof Savers Long Island, a roof and leak repair company that focuses on saving roofing and saving the environment. Contact them at: Roof Savers Long Island 292 Main Street #2s Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 629-4515