Whether partially or completely covered with vegetation, green roofs provide many benefits both economically and environmentally. A green roof system is multi-layered and typically includes a waterproofing membrane over the roof surface, a root or moisture barrier layer, a layer of drainage materials and the greenery in a growing medium layer. Green roofs provide numerous advantages, including absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a more aesthetically pleasing landscape, and lowering urban air temperatures by mitigating the heat island effect, a condition in which city and suburban developments absorb and trap heat. In Europe green rooftops have been popular for some time, more recently they have begun to appeal to building owners, development firms, and architects around the globe, to more efficiently utilize space and contribute to environmental efforts, while solving some issues with conventional roofing systems.
Green roofs are suitable for new building construction, as well as retrofit or restoration projects. While the initial expense is greater than conventional roofing systems requiring professional design, structural analysis, and a multiple layered material system, the long-term benefits outweigh the up-front expense. Green roofs can last twice as long traditional roofs, protecting the roofing membrane from UV radiation and direct contact with the elements. Green roofs also can save up to 75% in heating and cooling costs, as the vegetative layer insulates and provides a more stable surface that remains at or near air temperature. Also, with the absorption of storm water, they can eliminate the need for complex and expensive drainage systems. Not to mention the environmental benefits, and the creation of peaceful retreats for people and wildlife.
There are two types of green roof systems, intensive and extensive. Intensive green roofs have a deeper growing medium which can be six inches deep to more than a foot and are ideal for a greater variety of plant life and walkable areas. This system is popular on commercial buildings that have reinforced roof structures that can bear the weight of the system and are interested in providing an aesthetically pleasing rooftop area for people to enjoy. Extensive green roofs are more functional and are ideal for smaller less load bearing roofs that will not get a lot of foot traffic. Sometimes referred to as “performance” or “low profile” systems the average depth of the growing medium is 1.5 to 6 inches. Extensive systems are ideal for vegetation that requires little maintenance and can grow in a shallow medium, typically grasses and succulents are preferred.
Contact us for more information on our Green Roofing Materials