What are the Benefits of a Green Roof?
Green roof benefits are numerous. In a commercial setting, a rooftop that has been professionally planted and sculpted provides benefits to the public, private, and social sectors. The reason why green roofs provide benefits is due in large part to the functions of the plants themselves working with the urban landscape. For example, after a heavy storm, many flat roof commercial buildings experience a large amount of drainage through associated gutters and drains. Green roofs alleviate this burden through retaining the excess rainwater and nourishing the plants on the roof. The water that is collected by the plants then returns to the atmosphere through the process of evaporation and transpiration. Other benefits of owning a green roof follow:
- Purer air. In a green roof, plants filter particulate matter from the air and convert CO2 into oxygen. The varieties of plants found in a green roof contribute to air purification.
- Reduction of ambient temperature. Plants absorb sunlight – fifty percent of sunlight is absorbed, and thirty percent of sunlight is reflected.
- Extension of overall roof life. Green roofs protect the roofing material underneath from external influences such as the sun, wind, and rain. This can extend the overall life of your roof for sixty years or longer.
How Long Does a Green Roof Last?
A green roof option can last for up to sixty years with proper maintenance and care. In Europe, many green roofs were installed in the 1960’s. Based upon the available statistics, thirty to sixty years is not an unusual lifespan for green roofs. Every residence should experience great functionality from top to bottom, ranging from one’s roof, to one’s underground pipes. Commercial plumbing needs for residents in Pittsburgh, PA should be streamlined and professional.
Do Green Roofs Need Drainage?
All roofing systems require excellent drainage in order to ensure the longevity of the roofing structure. This is especially true for green roofs. Series of layers of roofing material are engineered to thoroughly drain the rainwater properly. These layers are comprised of substrate, a drainage layer, and into the drains for stormwater or rainwater collection. The growing substrate layer must be kept separate from the drainage layer with a filter sheet.
Green Roof Issues
While green roofs boast a huge number of advantages, particularly for the environment, it’s important to consider some of the disadvantages. To begin, green roofs are more expensive than traditional roofs. Another thing to keep in mind is that green roofs are heavy. This translates to increased weight on your overall structure. Make sure that your current structure is strong enough to withstand a heavier roof. Green roofs also require extra maintenance. This is because you will need to provide a little oversight to ensure that your green roof remains a thriving miniature landscape. Treat it like a garden, and you will see it grow.
Why are Green Roofs Important?
Green roofs reduce energy costs by absorbing heat instead of attracting it. The natural consequence of this dynamic is that it provides natural insulation for buildings. This means that during hot summers, when air-conditioning bills tend to run high, a green roof can cut your energy costs by seventy-five percent or more. Green roofs present the ultimate roofing option for decreasing the production of greenhouse gas emissions, and purifying the air in your immediate atmosphere.
Are Green Roofs Sustainable?
If sustainability is the question, green roofs are the answer. A green roof significantly reduces the need for air conditioning in summer and provides insulation in the winter. Naturally, in the winter, the amount of moisture present in the drainage layers will impact the insulation of the building. Insulation is greatest in the summer, because the layers are dry, and reflect heat most effectively. Due to the reduced need for air-conditioning, a green roof significantly reduces energy consumption.
Green Roof vs. Traditional Roof
Traditional roofs are often compared to green roofs as means of comparing the functionality of a normal roof versus the unconventional design of a green roof. However, the facts are straightforward and unequivocal. Green roofs offer reduced energy use, an incredible amount of thermal insulation, and improved human health and comfort. By reducing the heat transfer that occurs with normal roofs, the ‘heat island’ effect can be minimized, particularly in an urban setting.
Green Roof Cost
Many experts claim that green roofs can not only save money, they can help alleviate the effects of global warming. Specifically centering upon the monetary cost of a green roof, there is a larger initial investment in a green roof. However, in areas that have extremely hot summers, there is the added benefit of the lower energy cost in the summertime, which can be one of the biggest energy bill drains. An exposed roof can get as hot as 158 degrees on a sunny day, while a green, shady roof can heat to just 77 degrees. The comparison is clear.
Green Roof Facts
There are a number of green roof facts to keep in mind whilst browsing for a green roof option.
- Stormwater management. In urban and suburban areas, large swathes of paved surfaces prevent stormwater from being absorbed into the ground. This excess runoff damages the prevailing water quality by sweeping pollutants into water bodies. Green roofs reduce the flow of stormwater from a roof by up to 65% and delay the flow rate by up to three hours.
- Biodiversity and habitat. A green roof can provide an excellent habitat for plants and animals, like birds and insects, and thereby increase biodiversity.
- Heat Island effect. Cities are warmer than rural areas due to the fact that concrete and asphalt absorb solar radiation. Green roofs are proven to reduce this effect.
Contact Great Lakes Commercial Roofing now at 412-256-8050 to discover more about green roof installation in Pittsburgh, PAand the surrounding areas.