Blue Roofs are Nothing to be Depressed About
Here at D-marc we pride ourselves on providing safe access solutions for those who need to carry out inspection, maintenance and repair work of all types on roofs. As such we like to ensure that our readers are up to date on all new developments and progress within the roofing and construction industries, especially when it comes to safe working procedures. In the past we’ve provided information on the different types of roofs that we see on buildings with a short explanation on the designs of each. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the latest trends in roofing – the blue roof. It’s not suffering from depression, nor has it been painted bright blue (though the blue roofs in the little Greek villages on the Mediterranean always look rather charming!).
In a nutshell, a blue roof is a roof design that is intended to store water, usually rainwater (which we get plenty of her in the UK). Blue roof used for water storage are classified as either active or passive, depending on the types of control devices installed to regulate drainage of water from the roof. Active blue roofs are often referred to as “automated roof runoff management systems”, just to confuse the issue a little further, and they use power to store and use water collected from the roof – such as a water tank and pump system. Passive blue roof systems make use of the water collected and stored without using electrical power, relying instead on the power of gravity.
Blue roofs may include open water surfaces, storage within or beneath a porous media or modular surface, or below a raised decking surface or cover. Blue roofs offer some attractive benefits:
- Temporary storage of rain water to mitigate the impacts of runoff
- Collection of water for use within the building, for example using rainwater from the roof in the toilet flushing systems.
- Gathering the water and using it to cool the building below – this is often a passive system using a combination of water and the insulation materials on the roof in hot climates.
- Solar water heating – using solar energy to heat rainwater that can then be used in a swimming pool, enabling a heated swimming pool to use zero water or energy from the grid.
- Irrigation – storage of rainwater to be used later to irrigate a garden on the roof or elsewhere in the building.
- Rain Gardens – reducing rainwater runoff with a rooftop garden that’s designed to absorb and filter the water, this often helps to prevent flooding and pollution.
- Cost Efficiency – in most cases, a blue roof is significantly less expensive to install than a green roof.
We’re sure to be hearing more about this growing trend for blue roofs in the future, together with green roofs, they are one of the measures that can be taken to help fight environmental damage and climate change. We’ll be keeping an eye on any new developments in green and blue roofing so that our readers are kept fully up to date. If you don’t want to miss out on the information, why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter?