Green roofs are an exciting technology that uses the natural advantages of materials like grass and vegetation. They are also sometimes called “living roofs” because the outermost materials consist of organisms that are very much alive.
A typical green roof will be partially or completely covered in a waterproofing membrane, followed by a growing medium like dirt or gravel and then live plants. Additional systems may also be installed, such as a root barrier, drainage or irrigation systems.
Compared to a typical roof structure, green roofs add several helpful functions. They:
- Directly absorb rainwater
- Provide excellent insulation in all seasons, reducing energy costs
- Help lower urban air temperatures
- Create a habitat for local and migratory wildlife
- Add opportunities for growing produce or ornamental plants
- Decrease stress and cultivate benevolence through their aesthetically pleasing landscape
Types of Green Roofs
There are two main types of green roof.
- Thicker — minimum depth of 12.8 cm
- Supports a wider variety of plants
- Heavier, sometimes requiring added structural support
- Generally require more overall maintenance
- Shallow — between 2-12.7 cm
- Supports only grasses and small plants
- Lighter, requiring less installation
- Requires less maintenance than intensive roofs
Advantages of a Green Roof
Even with the initial cost of installation in mind, green roofs offer many financial benefits.
Green roofing can extend the lifespan of a roof by around 200%. This effect occurs because the waterproofing membrane is well-shielded against deterioration caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or physical damage from the elements.
Increased Resale Value and Sales Appeal
Another added benefit from a green roof is that environmental technologies are becoming appealing to real estate buyers and investors. Market research estimates that a green roof could increase an average home’s resale value by around 7%.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Green roofing’s most significant benefit comes from its ability to self-regulate temperatures. Living materials can help significantly reduce energy costs in all seasons while also reducing overall environmental impact. Green roofs retain heat during the colder winter months and help reflect and dissipate solar radiation during the hotter summer months.
Reduction of “Urban Heat Island” Effect
Green roofs can reduce a major environmental impact seen in many urban areas. Man made building materials alter the landscape’s natural ability to dissipate or control heat from sunlight. The result is that many urban areas have remarkably higher air temperatures than their surrounding rural areas. This phenomenon is called the “urban heat island” effect, and it has significant impacts on human health and local ecosystems.
After reading stacks of research, cities, states and municipalities have determined that green roofs help solve and lessen the public’s burden on many intensifying issues problems.
As such, a green roof can provide a valuable tax rebate every year. Many regions offer these incentives because a green roof can reduce strain on stormwater drainage systems and lessen the urban heat island effect.
Green roofs in Nashville, for example, can reduce monthly sewage and water charges by as much as $10 per every square foot installed. Consult your local tax office to learn about other possible rebates you could be eligible for.
Nashville Green Roof Installation Experts
Antebellum Roofworks Co Inc can install green roofs in Nashville of any size for almost any building. We offer Nashville area green roof installation for both commercial and residential buildings. Contact us at (615) 794-9111 today or fill out our form for a quote or to get started.