|Installing a green roof is one of the hottest
trends in “green” construction. These attractive
spaces not only enhance a buildings appearance,
they can also provide much needed recreation
space in a relaxing, peaceful environment.
Green roofs improve a building’s energy efficiency
by insulating from heating and cooling loss.
They also help with storm water run off because
they will retain 50% to 90% of rainfall on
the roof. Green roofs are environmentally
friendly, as they help reduce urban heat
island problems and process airborne toxins
while they re-oxygenate the air. Green roofs
can be installed on almost any building,
both commercial and residential.
If you are thinking of putting
in a green
roof, consider the following:
- A shallow, lightweight roof can be installed
in locations where no one will be walking
on it. A waterproof membrane is laid over
the top of the building, and as little as
3 inches of a special lightweight growing
mixture is spread over it. Plants recommended
for this type of roof include herbs, grasses
and sedums because they are able to withstand
the harsh growing conditions. These roofs
require virtually no maintenance. They can
be easy and inexpensive to install.
- More elaborate green roofs that involve watering,
fertilizing or mowing are also possible.
These can be planted with flowers, vegetables,
lawns, shrubs and even small trees. They
can be paved with hardscape materials, and
outdoor furniture for pedestrian use can
be added. These roofs require special building
materials and often need to be part of the
initial construction of the building. These
park like green roofs can be installed on
top of office buildings, apartment complexes,
retail stores and parking garages.
Green roofs have been safely used in Europe
for many years. They are sure to be an increasingly
popular option in North American.