8 Benefits Of Using Green Roofs In Urban Areas
A green roof, also known as a rooftop garden or vegetative roof, is a roof consisting of a waterproofing membrane covered by a growing medium and live vegetation. The type of plant used to cover a green roof depends on the amount of growing medium used, the climate, and the accessibility of the roof. Green roofs are especially popular in urban areas where it is difficult to find ground space to plant vegetation. This type of roof also has several benefits for city dwellers.
1. Waste Reduction
The materials used to manufacture the components of a green roofing system are usually made from recycled products. Some drainage elements are made from recycled polyethylene or rubber, while several types of waterproof membranes contain paint left over from previous construction projects. Using roofing products made from recycled materials reduces waste and lessens the impact of roofing projects on the environment.
2. Improved Air Quality
The plants incorporated into a green roof absorb pollutants and filter harmful gases, improving air quality. This effect is especially important in urban areas with a lot of smog. By absorbing smog particles and reducing the dispersion of dust, a green roof can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in heavily populated areas.
3. Noise Insulation
One of the drawbacks of living in a big city is the high noise level. Green roofs help reduce noise by diminishing the intensity of sound energy. In fact, some green roofs reduce sound by up to 50 decibels.
4. Increased Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variation found in a particular ecosystem. The plants used in green roofs attract birds, beneficial insects, and butterflies, increasing the biodiversity of urban spaces. Biodiversity affects the availability of food and medicinal plants, making it an important consideration when designing ecologically friendly roofing systems.
5. Moisture Absorption
With traditional roofing materials, property owners have to pay close attention to the amount of moisture that builds up on their roofs. Standing water contributes to the growth of mold and mildew, increases the risk for dry rot, and puts homes at risk for interior and exterior water damage. The plants in a green roofing system absorb excess moisture and release it back into the air. This prevents moisture from building up around the roofing membrane, extending the life of the roof and helping building owners avoid costly roof damage.
6. Reduced Energy Costs
Green roofs have better insulation capabilities than roofs made with shingles, wood shakes, and other traditional roofing materials. During the winter, the plants on a green roof prevent cold air from entering the attic, reducing the amount of energy used to heat a building. Plants also provide protection against hot air during the summer, reducing cooling expenses. As a result, people with green roofs tend to have lower electricity bills than people with traditional roofs.
7. Light Absorption
Because urban areas have greater amounts of human activity, they tend to be hotter than nearby rural areas. This is known as the urban heat island effect. Green roofs help reduce the heat island effect by absorbing light from the sun. Traditional roofing materials reflect the sun's rays, sending extra heat back into the atmosphere.
8. Community Spaces
In some urban areas, residents don't have a lot of options when it comes to finding space to hold community events. Rooftop gardens are aesthetically pleasing, making them the ideal location for parties or meetings. Some building owners even use their rooftop gardens for money-making ventures such as swap meets or artisan markets.
If you live in an urban area, installing a green roof can help you save money, enjoy the effects of increased biodiversity, and improve the environment around you. Although green roofs are very different from roofs made with traditional materials, you still need the help of an experienced roofer. A roofing professional can help you learn more and select a waterproof membrane and drainage system that will protect your home from damage for years to come.