By now you’ve probably heard the buzz about green roofs. A green roof, or a living roof, is a roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation. Besides being a beautiful addition to an office or residential space, they also provide plenty of energy and cost saving benefits. Read on for everything you have ever wanted to know about green roofs, and how you can make them a reality for your home!
How Does it Work?
So, it’s not just a bunch of plants on a roof. First, a layer of concrete is applied to create a barrier at the base of the roof. Then, a waterproofing membrane is added on top of the roof deck. Next a drainage layer and a filter layer. Finally, a layer of soil is placed on top of the filter layer and then the vegetation is placed at the very top. This is the basic structure of a green roof.
Who Can Install It?
Though it is possible to DIY a green roof, you will need the help of a structural engineer to ensure your roof is able to handle the weight of the growing medium and plants. At $13-$45 per square foot, it is probably more worth it to hire a professional to properly install your green roof, rather than risk having your roof not meet proper safety standards.
What's in it For Me?
Green roof systems in cities can create improvements in waste diversion, stormwater management, and air quality, as well as help to moderate the urban heat island effect. (A heat island is an area that is significantly warmer than its surroundings because of human activity that creates waste in the form of heat energy).
On residential roofs, a well-engineered green roof can provide a variety of energy and cost savings. For one, the room below the green roof will be kept warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, giving you a reduced utility bill at the end of each month. Plants also help to absorb air pollutants around your home.
What's the Bottom Line?
Green roofs can range from about $13-$45 per square foot installed, and they can last roughly twice as long as a conventional roof. And in addition to providing energy and cost savings, they also add a nice aesthetic flair to brighten up the outside of your home.
If you're thinking about adding a green roof to your home, or if you have any other roofing inquiries, be sure to visit our website and contact us. Our green roofing professionals are always happy to talk to you!