Green Living Roof

Green Living Roof

Green roof

Green roof

By Geoff Davis

A green roof (also known as a living roof) is a growing system built on top of a protected waterproof roof. The growing system can be grass, plants, small herbs, etc.

Many benefits. The main ones are:

  • good for small animals and plants
  • add greatly to biodiversity within the immediate local urban environment
  • create extra green open spaces.
  • prevent flooding as water run-off is reduced and slowed down
  • absorb carbon emissions

Water retention is a big factor in urban areas as many gardens are concreted over, paved over for carports, or decked for play areas.

Decking and tarmac greatly increase run-off rainwater. They provide diverse habitats as they can be planted with indigenous flora for bird, insect and arthropod populations. A green roof modifies the urban micro-climate.

Plants cool the air through transpiration, and reduce surface roof temperatures by as much as 40 degrees centigrade in the summer, given the baking heat on a dark flat roof. They also improve air quality, not only absorbing CO2 but also trapping about 85% of airborne particulates.

Roof gardens lose 30% less heat in winter and are cooler in summer, and also provide sound insulation. A green roof can reduce indoor sound by as much as 10 decibels for every 3 inches of growth. Green roofs have been shown to reduce heating costs by as much as 25% and cooling costs by as much 50%, for the floor directly under the roof.

The subsurface protects the roof against aging and replacement. They also add value to a house or building. They look very attractive compared to traditional grey slate or asphalt roofs, and provide a soothing effect for the stressed urban person.

What is a green roof? The subsurface is a high tech system that holds water for dry periods. There is also a waterproof membrane to prevent leaks. They can be very heavy, from 80 to 365 kilograms a square metre . This means most roofs will have to be structurally reinforced.

Amazing fact:
A recent study by US company Weston Solutions estimates that greening the rooftops of all buildings in the City of Chicago would result in nearly $100 million of annual energy savings.

For more information about Green Roof, solar, wind, eco DIY etc, and other sustainable green building tips, with informative photos from our actual builds, see our new Ecotist Green Building Ebook, with free chapters.

Free green building book chapters and more info

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Geoff_Davis
http://EzineArticles.com/?Green-Living-Roof&id=1025204

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