Green Roofing And Its Financial Benefits
What is green roofing?
The practice of using plant cover for the roofs instead of using the traditional roofing materials is called green roofing. Though the practice existed from 1960's the popularity of green roofing increased in the recent years due to the environmental and financial benefits achieved by installing this roof. The roof of a building can be completely or partially covered with different varieties of plants or grass planted in a growing medium spread on a waterproofing membrane. The green roofs play an important role in creating additional green landscapes which are aesthetically pleasing and which helps to lower the temperature in urban and suburban areas. The roofs with green vegetation attract butterflies, bees, and birds which are becoming rare in urban areas. People can grow their choice of flowering plants, fruits, and vegetables on their roof top. Any sloped or flat roof is suitable for green roofing.
Types of green roofs
You can opt for intensive green roofs or extensive roofs, according to the requirement. The intensive green roofs have thicker growth of vegetation with a wide variety of plants and with a minimum depth of growth medium being at least 5 inches. This type of green roof can support 80-150 pounds of plant life per square foot. This type of green roofing requires greater maintenance. The extensive green roofing, on the other hand, requires a shallow layer of growing medium which ranges from 2-5 inches. Extensive roofing is lighter with only 10-25 pounds of plant life per square foot and has minimal maintenance requirements.
The ideal green roof plants
When you are planning to have green roofing for your residential or commercial building you need to consider certain things while selecting the plants. It is necessary to select plants which are resistant to extreme weather conditions. Go for a plant which requires least or no irrigation. Select the native variety of vegetation which are disease and pest resistant and are hardy. Make sure that the plants you grow on your roof will act as a fire retardant and are non-invasive. The roots of these plants collect rainwater during rain and the plants absorb the heat during winter months and will keep the building warmer. These features of the green roofing offer many financial benefits to the building owner. Apart from the financial benefits these types of the roof also offer environmental benefits by absorbing the air pollutants like carbon dioxide. This reduces the temperature in the urban area and controls Heat Island Effect.
Designing and installing green roofing involves moderate to heavy installation cost depending on the size of the building and type of green roof you are installing. But the financial benefits overpower the installation cost. Some of the financial benefits of green roofing are listed here.
Increased lifespan of a roof
According to the researchers conducted by universities, green roofing can increase the life span of a roof at least by three times. Green roofing protects the waterproofing membrane with the vegetation and growing medium and helps to protect the membrane from physical damages and from the ultra-violet rays of the sun. This means you will be saving money of roof repair charges.
Apart from increasing the aesthetic value, green roof installation makes your property more valuable in the real estate market. The rate of your property can go higher by about 7-10 % if you have installed green roofing. It is easy to sell or lease out such properties.
Reducing the need for heating and cooling
The need for heating the building in winter and cooling the building in summer gets reduced considerably as the green roofing retains the heat during winter and reflects the heat during summer months. This aspect of green roofing reduces energy needs by the building considerably by lowering the use of air conditioners and heaters. This prolongs the service life of various ventilation systems, heating systems, and HVAC systems in the buildings.
There are incentives, tax reductions, and rebates available for buildings with green roofing belonging to specific regions. Since 2009, the property owners in New York City with at least 50% of the roof area covered with green roofing are eligible for one-year property tax credit.
Green roofing systems are very durable when compared to the traditional roofing. This roofing can last for more than 50 years with very low maintenance. They do not require regular repairs like other roofing materials.
Everyday advances are made in green roof technology and this has lead to the development of new green roof systems that will suit the need of any type of building.