Before discussing whether a green roof system is worth the investment, you must understand that green roofs aren’t just for growing carrots. Yes, you surely have seen the growing media coverage of living roofs – where building owners grow vegetation on top of their buildings. While we applaud any addition of green space in an urban environment, the green roof industry is much more varied and complex.

Here are some green roof systems that reduce energy usage, help with stormwater management, and reduce urban heat islands. And you don’t have to know anything about growing carrots for these environmentally-friendly roofing projects.

Types of Green Roof Systems

The roofing industry has changed a lot through the decades. Some of those changes resulted from government initiatives to protect the environment. Other changes resulted from building owners looking for ways to reduce costs by reducing energy usage.

Here are some results of how green roof technology changed the traditional roof.

Daylighting Green Roof Systems

Lighting can affect mood, morale, and energy levels. While some lighting systems are better than others, nothing can compare to the sun’s natural light. This is one reason for considering a daylighting system.

Studies have shown that by letting in more natural light in the workplace, you can increase employee morale, reduce errors, and improve production. But this green roof design also helps the environment by drastically reducing the building’s energy usage and operating costs in some climate zones. 

Solar Panels

Solar panels (photovoltaic assemblies) can turn your roof structure into an energy-producing asset. As a result, you’ll be able to save money on energy costs. If you  are considering solar panels don’t forget to make sure that your roof can handle the load and endure as long or longer than the solar panels.

Garden Roofs

Garden roofs or living roofs help conserve energy, absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants, reduce the strain on drainage systems, and improve the efficiency of your building’s HVAC systems.

There are several types of roof gardens. For example, an extensive green roof covers the area with moss, sedum, herbs, and grasses. Semi-intensive green roofs use grasses, shrubs, small trees, and herbs. On the other hand, intensive green roofs are roof-top gardens where you can grow diverse vegetation, including carrots, to enjoy at dinner. 

As you can imagine, it takes significant expertise to prepare for rooftop gardens or living roofs. A rooftop garden requires a waterproofing membrane, root barrier, drainage layers, irrigation, and soil perfect for plant growth. 

living roofs

Cool Roofs

Green roofs provide energy savings, reduce urban heat islands and smog, and are essential to building healthy cities. However, you can have a green roof on your building without installing solar panels and plants. Instead, you can have a green roof by choosing cool roof products or cool (reflective) roof coating systems. Adding insulation to meet or exceed the building codes is another way to add to your energy efficiency that saves money on utilities and pressure resources.

Are Green Roofs Worth the Investment?

You may like the idea of installing solar panels or creating a carrot garden on top of your roof. However, building owners are forced to look at the bottom line when considering such extensive roofing construction projects

Your roof experts at Nations Roof will walk you through the decision. We’ll remind you of the benefits of green roofs while also giving you a clear understanding of the costs and maintenance required. Contact Nations Roof to schedule a roof inspection and consultation

Key Takeaways About Green Roofs

  • Green roof is a generic term that describes initiatives intended to reduce energy usage, assist with stormwater management, and reduce urban heat islands. 
  • There are different green roof systems, including daylighting, solar panels, garden roofs, and cool roofs. 
  • Seek expert advice to determine if a green roof system is worth the investment costs. 

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