north pole, alaska, village-1632525.jpg

The Undeniable Green Roof Benefits To Cities

The term “green roof” may be new to you, but the green roof benefits to cities are not. Green roofs are catching on throughout the world now, but they are still in their infancy. They reduce air pollution, absorb rainfall, reduce heat, and beautify our city centres. Experts do believe that if more green roofs are added, it will help reduce the amount of pollution as mentioned and make cities a lot more sustainable and cost effective.

What Is a Green Roof?

A green roof is a type of roofing system that incorporates vegetation, such as grass, shrubs, or small trees, onto the surface of a building. The vegetation is grown in a substrate, which is typically a combination of soil, compost, and drainage material, and is contained within a waterproof membrane.

Green roofs can be either intensive, which are thicker and require more maintenance, or extensive, which are thinner and require less maintenance. Green roofs provide a variety of benefits, such as insulation, stormwater management, and air purification.

How Do Green Roofs Work?

Green roofs work by creating a layer of vegetation on top of a building. The vegetation is grown in a substrate, which is a combination of soil, compost, and drainage material, and is contained within a waterproof membrane. The vegetation and substrate act as insulation, helping to keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Green roofs also help to manage stormwater by absorbing rainwater and slowing its release into the drainage system, reducing the risk of flooding.

Eco-roofs are one of the newest trends in the green building movement. The Green roofs benefits are designed to trap air pollution, provide insulation, conserve water, prevent soil erosion, and even provide natural mosquito repellents. These roofs are growing in popularity because of their many benefits.

Environmental Benefits Of Green Roofs

Green roof benefits | Green roof garden VideoLink

The growth of green roofs has been incredible in the past decade, with 2.5 million square meters (269 million square feet) of green roofed roofs currently in the world. When considering the environmental benefits of green roofs, there are many key elements to consider, including energy efficiency, water use, air quality, and aesthetics.

A green roof is capable of cleaning the surrounding air, offsetting power-hungry artificial lighting, dramatically decreasing water runoff, and providing psychological relief to homeowners.

The benefits are extensive, and yet green roofs are not well-known enough to the general public. But some people are beginning  to see the green roof benefits that they can provide for a city and the environment. We break down some of the benefits in more detail here :

  • Storm water management: Retaining large amounts of yearly rainfall, soft landscaping can reduce the risks of flooding by reducing rainwater run-off.
  • Improved air quality: On green roof, the plant vegetation helps to reduce the amount of air pollutants and dust particles by removing them from the environment around them. The plants and soil naturally evaporate water and also help to cool the air, which brings down the ambient temperature.
  • Photosynthesis: Plants on these green roofs combine sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen. Sedum acre, Frankenia thymifolia, and Vinca major would be the best choice for an eco-roof as they can absorb carbon dioxide more efficiently than most plants and can also reduce a buildings CO2 emissions by reducing the energy demand.
  • A reduction in Urban heat island effect: urban heat island effect happens when natural land gets replaced with a dense build-up of buildings, pavements and other manmade structures that make up our cities. These structures reflect and radiate solar energy, This effect increases energy costs and air pollution. Green roofs will absorb some of this heat and plants will help humidify and cool the air through evaporation of water, to lower the overall temperature.

Economic Benefits Of Green Roofs

stone house, house, turf roof-4193002.jpg

It’s easy to see the green roof benefits on some commercial properties, but there are many more benefits that go beyond aesthetics.

These roofs are designed to reduce the energy required to maintain a building, improve comfort for staff and patients, or customers and reduce stormwater runoff, decrease the building’s carbon footprint, and increase the property’s cost-effectiveness. Often referred to as eco-roofs, these green roofs are becoming an asset to a business.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Eco roofs reduce carbon footprint by an improved thermal insulation that provides a more balanced temperature within, which lowers a buildings running costs. It reduces your heating costs in winter and then air conditioning expenditure during summer months.
  • Reduced construction costs: Green roofs help with construction costs as it reduces the overall weight involved in a project, fewer rainwater outlets are needed and the capacity of the drainage system can be decreased.
  • Increased life expectancy: Research has shown that buildings protected by landscaping with green roofs, achieve the design life expectancy of a building, due to the increased life span of the waterproofing membranes.
  • Aid to planning permission: Local Authorities and councils will naturally favour planning proposals that include eco roofs, as this helps towards a cities sustainability and environmental targets.
  • Increased property value: When is comes to the majority of buildings the roof is a under-utilised asset which should be maximised for a number of reasons. It can become a green space for leisure purposes, replace the land lost to the footprint of the structure and it can reduce the noise of the building as well.

Conclusion

green roof benefits

Green roofs offer a number of different benefits to cities and its inhabitants. There are Ecological benefits like, aiding  biodiversity and creating natural habitats for plants and wildlife. These benefits on top of the numerous economic and environmental gains can be part of a larger vision to grow a city for a greener more sustainable future. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen.