Basics of Green Roofing

October 11, 2011 Posted by Tlittle

Green Roofing is the practice of growing vegetation on the roof of a building for the purpose of insulation, reducing the environments wear on the roof surface, recycling the water drainage on the roof, balancing and filtering the emitted toxins of modern development, and Aesthetics. The history of Green Roofing goes back centuries in Northern Europe, and even today the Germans lead the way in its development and proliferation.

Traditionally Green roofing is implemented on a low graded roof (relatively flat) and can either utilize segments or one complete covering bed, green roofing differs from a rooftop garden in that is generally cultivates ground-cover species rather than large plants/trees. The depth of the substrate limits the variety of plants to be grown, and the depth of the substrate is limited by the strength of the roof.

The Insulation benefits of green roofing can reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer by 75% and lower the requirement for heating in the winter by20% depending on the extremity of climatic conditions. The water retention of green roofing relates to the season and thus the activity of the plants, the system can retain as much as 90% in winter and as as much as 50% in Summer leaving you with only a portion of run-off water to manage. The list of Green roofing extends to further include smog filtration and dust control, noise insulation, fire retardant, increasing the marketability/social acceptance of your building, and increasing the biomass of the surrounding environment.

Installation of Green Roofs are estimated to be around $15-$20 per square roof, the required maintenance is dependent on the circumstances of chosen vegetation and the requirements of water and fertilization and their effects toward the desired aesthetics if applicable. It should be noted that fertilization and watering aren’t generally issues if native plants are chosen and that saves the potential run off damage from added chemicals.

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