Green Roofs: How You Can Benefit From Planting a Green Roof in Your Property
A few decades ago, you could only see vegetation growing on a rooftop mostly out of neglect. Today, however, green roofs (also known as garden roofs or eco-roofs) are gaining popularity for the amazing benefits it can bring to the environment and the property itself.
But before we proceed to the benefits, let’s first learn the three different types of green roofing:
Extensive systems - these are thin (60-200mm substrate), lightweight (60-150 kg/m2) systems that can be applied for roofs that are out of reach and not intended for other purposes. You’ll need appropriate plant life, such as moss, grasses or herbs, ideal for low maintenance and self-sustaining.
Intensive systems - this system requires frequent maintenance and can make use of any vegetation. It functions as a garden on your roof. You’ll need to plant a 150-400mm thick substrate weighing between 180-500 kg/m2. You’ll need to install proper fall protection such as a flat roof fall protection barrier for your safety when traversing the rooftop.
Semi-intensive systems - these are a combination of the other two types. It’s thinner than an intensive system but thicker than an extensive system - 120-250mm thick substrate and a weight of 120-200 kg/m2.
Benefits of Planting Green Roofs
The following are some of the facility, environmental, social, and corporate benefits of green roofs.
1. Extends Roof Life
Green roofs can extend the lifespan of your roof by protecting the roofing membrane against extreme temperature fluctuations, strong winds, and heat. This can double or even triple the roof’s lifespan and save you a lot on roof repairs and replacement. They also help minimise waste as you’ll be replacing the roof less often.
2. Improves Air Quality
The vegetation removes pollutants from the atmosphere and reduces the dust in the air. It also helps mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon from the air, releasing essential oxygen in the process.
3. Reduces Urban Heat Island Effect
Vegetation on the roof can reflect or absorb the heat to lower the temperature around the property. This low-temperature effect is also enhanced by the plants’ transpiration and evaporation of water. This technique also helps save on energy by reducing the load on the HVAC system.
4. Can Reduce Stormwater Runoff
The moisture retention mats and growth media act as a sponge and can buffer the drainage system by absorbing rainwater to reduce stormwater runoff and stabilise groundwater levels. The water will then be released through evaporation.
5. Regulates Noise
An efficient green roof offers noise attenuation, especially with low-frequency sounds to provide a comfortable and useful environment. The drainage layers and foliage can absorb sound vibrations hence reducing noise.
6. Job Creation
Green roofing creates new job opportunities in the fields of design, manufacturing, nursery, installation, and maintenance. As the demand for green roofs continues to grow, more and more job opportunities are created.
7. Increases Building Marketability
Green roofs are associated with the environmental movement because they can improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, and reduce the urban heat island effect. This increases the marketability of the property and gives potential tenants a reason to consider leasing space in the building. The tenants and employees are also more likely to stay for longer as compared to those in properties with traditional roofs.