Greenroofing Systems for the Home
In an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of urban building expansion, greenroofs are being implemented in cities all over the world in a joint effort to reduce our environmental footprint.
Condominium, housing and office architecture design is evolving to include such greenroofs helping turn cities into beautiful landscapes. Greenroofs are not just for large city structures, you can plan for one in your home green design as well!
What is Greenroofing?
Greenroofing is essentially the replacement of bare shingles, tiles or roofing membrane with plants and vegetation, a roof garden!
A Greenroof must be designed and properly installed as in most cases multiple layers of waterproofing membrane and root repellent membrane must be applied to the existing roofing structure. These eco roofs can be installed on a residential roof with slopes up to 30 degrees and steeper roofs can also be accommodated with the appropriate support structures.
There are basically two types of greenroofs:
Extensive greenroofs are also known as known as eco-roofs. These green roofs are a less expensive option as they do not have as many layers of construction and are much less complex. These eco-roofs require much less maintenance and human access as the plants are fairly self-sufficient. The types of plants used in extensive greenroofs are generally low-lying plant growth such as flowering herbs, various grasses and mosses.
The cost of extensive greenroofs can extend from as low as 9.00$ sq ft to 25.00$ sq ft. the most expensive part being the membranes needed to protect your home.
Intensive greenroofs are also known as high-profile roofs and are in most cases designed for commercial green building purposes. These are intensively designed roofing systems which can accommodate plant material where a greater growing depth is required. Trees, shrubs, waterfalls and ponds can all be included in such a design to truly create a recreational space for these building structures. Intensive greenroofs usually require a flat surface.
The cost for intensive greenroofs can vary dramatically depending on the size of the project, plant life and architectural details but in general run from 25.00$ and up.
The Environmental Impact of Greenroofs
Greenroofs have many environmental advantages in home and commercial design. The obvious one being the natural reduction of CO2 and filtration of dust and toxins in the surrounding area and the oxygen replenishment it can provide. However there are many other interesting ways that greenroofs can improve our cities! The information below is a resource from www.greenroofs.com
- Storm Water Management - Greenroofs can play a significant role in the management of storm water in cities. Their ability to absorb water reduces the amount of water entering sewer systems, streams and drainage channels which helps to control the transport of sediment and soil erosion.
- Pollutant Absorption - An accumulation of heavy metals in storm water are absorbed into soil and are not released back into the air! When storm water enters the sewer systems and streams it essentially adds heavy metals into our rivers and groundwater. Greenroofs can help prevent this.
- Urban Heat - Studies have shown that cities suffer an effect called "the urban heat island effect". Essentially materials such as concrete, asphalt and steel absorb heat and release this heat back into the city air reducing air quality. It has been shown that greenroofs can reduce this air temperature and increase humidity.
- Wildlife habitat - Greenroofs are a fantastic way to improve the natural habitat of city wildlife allowing them to flourish in an otherwise harsh existence.
One area of concern in greenroofs is their use of fertilizer. Fertilizer is in most cases necessary for the successful initiation of your greenroof. After a couple of years though your roof should be self-sufficient having accumulated enough of self made organic waste material.
Another concern is the dependency of water. These roofs do require water and there are ways to make this environmentally friendly. Choose to include proper irrigation systems of a solar paneled irrigation systems. Also try and include some type of recycled rainwater collection system to reduce the need for water. The need for water is why these roofs may not be the right green solution for those living in dry climates. You may be better off installing solar power panels instead on your roof.
The Health Impact of Greenroofs
Greenroofs are an excellent way to improve air quality. In a global effort to reduce greenhouse gasses and CO2 emissions, installing a greenroof into a home or commercial design is a green concept that will help accomplish this daunting task.
If you are looking for a unique way to reduce your environmental footprint and have the appropriate roofing space, a greenroof is a fantastic option. In certain circumstances, depending on accessibility, there is even the potential to have an herb garden on the roof enhancing the quality of your food while aiding the environment! In a commercial setting these roofs add quality of life to those living and working in the related structure and beautify the city landscape. Greenroofs are a sexy roofing concept for an environmentally conscious world.