The benefits to people and buildings delivered by green roofs are both social and economical.
Read more to learn more about green roofs and the part they play in green infrastructure.
Why not specify a green roof to improve your buildings?
Green Roofs enhance air quality
When planted with a rich variety of plant one of the key benefits of green roofs is that their content improves air quality by trapping toxic particulate matter. Particulate matter amongst a variety of other toxic chemicals is a problem in cities throughout the world. Created by diesel engines and construction, these tiny particles are proven to impact on respiratory health negatively and are particularly dangerous for children in cities.
Mitigate Storm Water Run Off
The substrate layers of green roofs absorb storm water, slowing entry of excessive water into city drainage and sewage systems thus reducing flash flooding risks. Water is also absorbed by the plant content of a living roof and is released via evopo-transpiration.
Living roofs reduce the Urban Heat Island effect
The hard reflective surfaces in city architecture absorb heat and continue to store heat making cities ever hotter, when we experience summer heat waves city temperatures are frequently in excess of 40C. When roofs and facades are covered in plants shade and evapotranspiration cool the localised climate making for a far more comfortable urban environment. The insulative qualities of a green roof also keep buildings cooler in the summer, reducing costly air conditioning bills and in turn reducing energy use.
Living roofs bring a welcome boost to biodiversity
The plant content of living roofs varies. A intensive green roof full of large species offers the opportunity to incorporate large specimens and a broad range of planting to boost habitat creation and forage for pollinators and birds. Wildflower roofs bring huge seasonal benefits to biodiversity. Brown roofs although not full of plants provide valuable habitats for invertebrates. Sedum, although it is a monoculture still brings with it a boost to biodiversity.
Green Roofs boost wellbeing and community
Nature plays a powerful role in the wellbeing of people. Creating green amenity space to relax, grow food and participate in community activities – boosts the urban dwelling experience. In the built up city environment a natural place to integrate nature – is the roof!
Green roofs support Biodiversity Net Gain targets
When the Environment bill is passed it will be mandatory for all new developments to restore biodiversity lost through the construction process. Many town planners have already adopted the process, we certainly look forward to the formalised legislation being passed. To get planning permission the developers need to put together a compelling the biodiversity gain plan that explains how provision for species’ habitats will be at least 10% better than any habitat existing prior to the development. Specification of green roofs at the outset is the perfect opportunity for property developers to meet biodiversity net gain targets and incorporate a space rich with biodiversity and storm water attenuation properties.
Improve the efficiency of solar panels
Green Roofs reduce the ambient air temperature which helps solar panels to perform more efficiently, further reducing the cost of energy bills. As stated by Dusty Gedge of the Green Infrastructure Consultancy:
“Solar/Photovoltiac panels can work more efficiently on a roof when installed over a green roof system. The micro-climate around the panels is important. If it is too hot, the panels can lose efficiency. The green roof element can have a cooling effect, especially in summer. Year round, green roofs can help to keep ambient temperatures around the panels at or near 250C. This is the best temperature for solar panels to work most efficiently”.
Using both solar and roofing systems to benefit each other makes good sense.
Green roofs improve the life span of roofing
A green roof protects roofing from extreme weather, mitigating erosion. The improved life span of a roof makes green roofing an intelligent choice and supports the environment too.