What and how many factors should be considered when choosing a green roof system?
Simply, many — both economic and environmental.
Buildings account for 30% of total energy use and 27% of greenhouse gas emissions (NRC). As urban centres continue to grow and develop, the benefits of incorporating Green Roof Systems into new and existing buildings are abundantly clear:
- Increased energy efficiency (heating in the winter & cooling in the summer)
- Longer building roof membrane life
- Air purification
- Noise pollution reduction
- Aesthetic appeal
- Wasted space becomes amenity space
- Storm water management/reuse reduces the burden on city’s infrastructure
- Ambient air temperature reduction (urban heat island effect)
- LEED credit compliance
Improve Air Quality: Green roofs effectively improve air quality in cities by increasing oxygen production, lowering air temperatures and filtering contaminants. Contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and aid in ozone protection.
Capital Cost Savings: Green roofs enhance a building’s energy performance and cost saving come from the reduction in cooling and heating requirements
Habitat Creation in the Urban Landscape: In addition to the beauty that living, breathing plants add to any space, the biodiversity of vegetation provides rare habitats for butterflies and birds in the city.
Reduction of the Heat Island: The urban heat island (UHI) is the increase in temperature in urban centres. Green roofs are an antidote to the vast dark surface area such as roofs or pavement.
Storm water Reduction: Green roofs absorb up to 80% of an area’s rainfall, minimizing demands on municipal infrastructure and improving storm water management by reducing the risk of combined sewer overflow.
Reduced Noise Levels: Planted areas are natural sound insulators and absorb more sound than hard surfaces