Green Roofing, Roof Gardens, and Their Benefits
While most of the cities in the Unites States feature skylines dominated by dull, black, asphalt roofs, there is a new emerging trend among homeowners and commercial building owners nationwide: green roofing.
Simply put, green roofing is a type of roofing featuring vegetation on rooftops. It can be used for many purposes, starting from proving the building with better energy efficiency, more effective insulation, water absorption, reducing the heat island effect, to creating a recreational space, improving the building’s aesthetics, or even using the space for fruit and vegetable farming. Thus, the area which usually doesn’t serve a purpose is efficiently used to enhance the quality of life of the building’s residents.
Why is Green Roofing Beneficial
While many of green roofs are simply installed by putting a relatively thin layer of soil and planting it with vegetation (also called an extensive green roof), we can use the roof surface to plant trees and larger plants by putting a deeper soil layer, and to provide a space for recreation, which might be otherwise unavailable in the big city (this type of roofing is called an intensive green roof).
For starters, green roofing helps us reduce your energy costs and insulates our building. The vegetation atop our building will be able to conserve the heat within the building during the summer, and, additionally, provides the protection from the freezing air in the winter. The need for air-conditioning and heat will be vastly reduced once we decide on green roofing.
Another benefit of green roofs is the ability to purify the air around the building. Plants have an important role of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, which is crucial for every living being. By installing a green roof, we can contribute to the environment. It will not solve the global warming problem completely, but we will still do something for mother nature.
Of course, the cost of installing a green roof is larger than that of a standard flat roof. Also, the installation must be done by a skilled professional roofing contractor. However, the benefits of green roofing significantly outweigh the disadvantages, and we will get so much more by deciding on it.
Fruit and Vegetable Production
With all the benefits a green roof can bring us, there is one more that is particularly appealing to aspiring farmers, supermarkets, and restaurant owners: using the space to cultivate fruits, vegetables, and herbs. As they are locally produced, it won’t be necessary for them to travel a long time to their destination, thus ensuring that they are fresh.
Rooftop farms have better exposure to sunlight and water – they are not shielded by tall buildings, so they are almost exclusively lit by the sun, while being close to the local water supply, not to mention the constant exposure to rainwater. They are also convenient because of their location: farmers have easy access to them, and the rooftop provides security from unwanted theft.
One of the disadvantages of rooftop farming is the weight: farms tend to strain the building’s load capacity a lot more than simple flat roofing systems, so it’s very important that we check with our roofing contractor before deciding on it. Another one is safety: because of its location, a roof garden is not completely safe and we have to be careful when working on it.