Reasons why you should have a green roof

You may have noticed that more and more buildings are now designed with their roofs covered in plants. Referred to as ‘living roofs’ or additionally as green roofs, many building owners are actually choosing to set up them on both new and existing buildings.

Green Roof Modules are not simply a new architectural trend, they have been around for thousands of years. In Scandinavian countries layers of turf were laid onto the roofs of buildings to do something as a thick insulation or as an option to wood.

Settlers in the American Plains in the late 1800s, took it one step further and built houses solely from cut sod pieces. Unfortunately sod houses were susceptible to leaking and even collapsing on the occupants.

Think your old roof tiles could do with a brand new look, or do you want your house to be eco-friendly? Here are ten good reasons why you, or your workplace, should consider a green roof.

Extends the lifespan of your roof
A green roof that has been properly installed and maintained should extend the lifespan of the roof 2-3 times its normal life. European roofs can last between 30 and 50 years.

Regulates building temperature
Green walls and roofs can reduce temperature fluctuations of roof surfaces. This can lead to significantly cooler temperatures within the building and lower air conditioning costs.

Reduces Urban Heat Island effect
Plants cool cities during hot summer months and decrease the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. They also help decrease the amount of dust in the air.

Captures noise pollution
Hard surfaces reflect sound rather than absorb it. Green roofs can act as a sound insulation, absorbing and reducing noise levels.

Improves office productivity and health
Having a view or access to a green roof, or similar natural vegetation, can improve the productivity and concentration of staff, as well as positive impacts on psychological well-being. There is also a lot of evidence that presents that green spaces can also help sick people recover faster.

Roof Garden on the top of an apartment building
Lowers bills and increases building value
Although the addition of a green roof to a building can be relatively expensive (£60-£140 m-2), the benefits given by the green roof should cause financial savings in future, for example by lowering energy bills and roof maintenance costs. The rental value of a building with a green roof in addition has been shown to be greater than surrounding buildings.

Improves the aesthetics of a building
Depending on their depth of substrate, green roofs can support a variety of plants, from succulent Sedums, to flowering perennials and even dwarf trees! All this vegetation enhances the look of a building from the outside as well as the within.

Reduces stormwater runoff
As opposed to conventional roofs which are designed to reduce rainwater as quickly as possible, green roofs absorb rainfall and keep the majority of it onsite. This can help to reduce stress on sewer and drainage systems at peak flow periods by making certain all the rainwater will not enter the machine in one go.

Green Roof Installation Details
Improves the output of photovoltaic units
Solar panels and green roofs work flawlessly together, even if they are competing for space. German research uncovered that solar panels more than a green roof had a 6% higher output in comparison to cells on the bitumen roof, because of the lower air temperatures caused by the vegetation.