What do Green Roofs do? See their Positive and Negative Sides here…

These days, several of the roofing contractors registered with Top Remodelers are found to be dealing with the green roofing projects on a large scale. Our expert team observed the rate of green roof installation in residential and commercial buildings and wondered why? To find the reason for this increased rate of green roof installation in the buildings, our research team started off with the ground research. With the research material they gathered, we have come up with the following article, which would speak how these green roofs would work along with the advantages and disadvantages here. So, keep reading…

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So, what do these green roofs do?

The point to be noted here is that the initial investment for setting up a green roof is very high. Remember, a green roof installation would need a professional inspection, careful design, thorough structural analysis, and multiple layers, as well as systems. Even the lower level extensive green roofs would cost you at least $8 per square foot. This is very high when compared to the built-up roofs that would cost just $1.25 per square foot. But, the loads of benefits that are laid down by the green roofs are promoting the installation of green roofs among the property owners.

Above all, green roofs would require only a simple construction that can be installed in most properties with an ideal flat top. These are known to be working well when there are slopes (of less than 20 to 30 degrees). Also, remember that all the green roofs would contain the same fundamental elements:

  •  Waterproofing membrane
  •  Soil layer
  •  Vegetation

Now, coming to the benefits of green roofs, you might be wondering whether you have any economic benefits of installing a green roof. A “yes” is our answer to your question. In the long-time, your green roofs would award you the economic benefits that outweigh your initial installation costs. Find below the advantages of green roofs in a more elaborate way:

Positive Sides of having a green roof in your building:

We shall now group the advantages of the green roof into various sub-headings. Firstly, we would start with the environmental benefits here:

Environmental Advantages:

Rainwater Management:

Based on the design of your green roof, it would be able to reduce the instant water run-off rates by up to 50 to 90%. This way, a green roof would be able to decrease the drainage flow rates significantly. Thus, it would allow you to manage the rainwater much efficiently by reducing the capacity of your rainwater management system, thereby decreasing the costs of construction.

So, how does this work on rainwater management? Firstly, understand that a green roof would absorb the rainwater by the water buffering in the vegetation, substrate, as well as in the drainage layers. This action would delay the discharge of water into the sewage. Moreover, this phenomenon would purify the rainwater received from the sky and they also would get evaporated via the plants. Thus, a green roof would also help stabilize the groundwater levels when at the same time being able to decrease the peak load on the building’s and/or city’s sewage system. Finally, it would also decrease the risks of flooding.

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Microclimate Improvement:

The green roofs are known to cool, as well as humidify the air in the surrounding environment. Thus, it would be able to create an advantageous microclimate within the immediate region. The improvements in the microclimate within each locality would significantly contribute to the microclimate improvement in the urban centers, which are affected badly due to air pollution these days. Therefore, a coordinated urban green roof project could significantly decrease the “Heat Island” phenomenon.

Our expert team at Top Remodelers state that the above microclimate improvement is possible with the green roofs because the plants would absorb sunlight out of which 50% will be completely absorbed while only 30% will be reflected. This would lead to a cooler, as well as more pleasant microclimate in the surroundings.

In terms of indoor climate, having a green roof would mean that your air conditioning system would not have to work very hard. This way, your energy bills are saved. In a bigger picture, this would have a positive impact on the microclimate in your immediate surroundings, as well as in the city. It has been estimated that the green roofs can reduce up to three degrees in the overall temperature of the city.

Dust and Toxic Reduction:

The vegetation in your green roof could help filter out the dust, as well as smog particles in the surrounding air. Moreover, plants would absorb the nitrates and other hazardous toxic substances from the air and rainwater and would fasten them within the substrate. Thus, the risks of diseases and disorders caused due to the dust and hazardous toxic materials would significantly decrease.

Noise Reduction:

Believe it or not, the planted areas would act as natural sound insulators, which are able to absorb more sound than our conventional harder surfaces. In this line, a green roof could decrease the reflective sound by up to three dB when at the same time could enhance the sound insulation by up to eight dB. Thus, having a green roof will be very helpful especially, when your building is near to the airport, industry, or nightclub.

Biodiversity Enhancement:

The green roofs would act as a substitute for the green spaces, which have been destructed by the urban development. Thus, they will be able to provide natural habitats for the wildlife species, thereby bringing the natural biodiversity back to the urban cities.

Economic Advantages:

Enhanced Water Retention:

As mentioned earlier, a green roof would decrease the water runoff by up to 50 to 90% with the remaining water flowing from the roof with some delay. Thus, the capacity of your outlets, pipes, as well as drains can be decreased in capacity. This would significantly save your money on construction. This could even decrease the sewer costs in a few regions.

Renovation Cost Cutting:

Your green roof is known to save your waterproofing from the extreme climatic conditions, UV rays, and even from mechanical damages. Thus, the life expectancy of your waterproofing will increase significantly. This way, the money being spent on renovation will be saved as your waterproofing would need only a little maintenance thereafter. A general estimation is that a green roof can increase the life expectancy of your roof by two or three-fold to up to six decades or even longer. Thus, you will be able to recoup your investment you made for your green installation in eight to twenty-one years.

Energy Cost Cutting:

As stated by roofing experts, the green roof in a building would be able to buffer the extreme temperatures and would enhance the energy efficiency of the buildings. Thus, you could save a lot of money being spent on energy bills. Not only this, a green roof would also decrease the temperature on the roof. The cooler roof would increase the efficiency of the solar panels and hence, you can save more on your overall energy costs.

Land Efficiency Enhancement:

By converting the normally untouched or under-utilized regions into a green roof, especially for the recreational or sporting activities, you are not only utilizing an expensive part of your property, but also saving the costs for purchasing a new land for these purposes. Thus, your green roofs would assist you in gaining the planning consent.

Property Value Addition:

Your green roof is sure to add a natural and sustainable appearance. At the same time, it would decrease your costs that are spent on energy bills. Besides this, it would extend the lifespan of your roof significantly. All these combined together would mean that the value of your property is enhanced manifold. It has been estimated that the green roof could improve your house’s value by up to 7%.

Other Advantages:

Recycling Support:

The green roofs are built using a large number of recycled, as well as recyclable products. For example, the recyclable products like rubber and polyethylene are being used to produce drainage elements. Similarly, the mono clay substance like Zincolit and humus are used to form the basis for the production of the rooftop garden system.

Fire Resistance:

The plants would generally hold a lot of moisture content. With your green roof, you could create a layer of natural fire resistance on the roof of your house or office.

Your well-being:

It has been widely accepted that living or working in a greener environment would have a positive effect on the well-being of humans. Thus, your green roof is sure to offer you the relaxation and the much-needed relief from your stress. It has been said by the doctors that the greenery would encourage a faster recovery for patients, thereby decreasing the duration of hospital stay. Therefore, green roofs are recommended for the hospital buildings, as well as in the other healthcare organizations. Moreover, it has been said that the pain tolerance of the patients will be higher in a green environment. Therefore, the green roof, which can also be called as “healing environment”, is much preferred.

Social Interaction:

It has been said by the psychological experts that living or working in a greener settings would bring people together. Thus, it would have a social impact on the positive side. The regions with more greenery would suffer lesser from violence and aggression.

Low Maintenance:

You can have a direct green result with your green roof. In this, you are no longer needed to plant plants one by one and wait for the results. The green roof contractors would deliver you the mats that are pre-cultivate thereby, boasting 90% green coverage. This would mean that the weed growth is unlikely with your green roof thereby, requiring only a little maintenance.

Negative Sides of having a green roof in your building:

Are you wondering whether there is any disadvantage with a green roof? Let’s discuss here. As mentioned earlier, the primary disadvantage of installing a green roof on your property is the initial costs. The costs of installation are found to be much higher than that of normal roofs. Not only this, based on the type of your green roof, the maintenance costs can also be higher, although a few kinds would require no or low maintenance only. Other than this, your building would need a very good waterproofing system because the water will be retained on your roof and also because there are chances for the roots of the plants to penetrate the waterproofing.

Another major disadvantage with your green roof is that it is more likely to invite pests and other wildlife your home or office.

In conclusion, we have found that the green roofs are welcomed by the property owners now because the advantages of green roof outweigh the disadvantages. We also would say that is true and go for it!

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