What Are Green Roof Systems?

plants on the rooftop

Learn More About Green Roofs

When it comes to interesting roof designs perhaps the most innovative can be seen with a green roof system. Essentially a green roof will be able to provide a range of vegetation of your choosing while adopting a number of benefits. There are many different types of green roofs with different details that will surround them. It’s best to confer with a certified roofer to see what may be done with your property. Until then, here is some general background information regarding green roofs that may prove useful to you.

Where are green roofs most popular?

Countries that commonly feature a green roof are European ones who have been implementing this type of technology for a long time since the 1960s. Although popular there, major US cities have been increasingly showing initiatives with implementing green roofs as seen with Chicago, Washington D.C., and Portland. This could be due to the fact that on top of the unique draw in design aesthetic a green roof offers many economical as well as environmental benefits.

How long do green roofs last?

A green roof will be able to last from 30-50 years. This type of roof lives longer than standard roofing options due to the fact that it will protect the roof membrane which extends the life of the roof.

What is green roof construction?

A green roof is also known as eco-roofs or vegetative roofs can be placed on a flat or slightly sloped roof. It consists of a layer of vegetation that’s planted over a waterproofing system. It acts as an extension of an existing roof which will then involve a drainage/roof repellent system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium, and plants. Green roofing falls into three main categories of semi-intensive, intensive, and extensive.

What is the difference between intensive and extensive green roofs?

The difference between an intensive green roof and an extensive one is that an extensive one will be able to grow a wide range of plants from shrubs to small trees while an extensive green roof can only accommodate a small selection of drought-tolerant plants. These plants will have to have a shallow root system as well.

Do green roofs need maintenance?

An intensive green roof will require maintenance depending on the landscape design and planting scheme. An extensive green roof will only need minimal maintenance to make sure that there aren’t any unwanted species growing.

What are the layers of a green roof?

The layers of a green roof involve vegetation, a growing medium, filter membrane, drainage layer, root repellent/waterproofing layer, a roofing membrane that supports the plants above, thermal insulation, a vapor control layer, and lastly structural roof support. 

How Green Roof Works

A green roof will be able to mitigate water runoff and sewer overflows as it has vegetation and soil that act as sponges that will absorb and filter the water that would normally go down gutters and into sewer systems. Essentially a green roof will be able to remove air particulates, make more oxygen, and give shade to the roof which will cool it down.

How do green roofs save money?

A green roof will be able to save on money due to its ability to reduce the heat fluctuations known with roofs. They will be able to use less energy with heating and cooling which then leads to fewer costs on monthly HVAC bills. During the winter a green roof can also minimize heat loss through the added insulation on the roof. Essentially a green roof will be able to conserve more energy which means that there will be less greenhouse gas emissions as a result.

View of green roof on modern buildings and other residential buildings in Sydney, Australia during sunrise

What are the benefits of having a green roof?

  • Economic Benefits
  • Improves Stormwater Management
  • Reduces Urban Heat Island Effect and Improves Air Quality 
  • Insulates the Building
  • Improves Efficiency of Mechanical Equipment
  • Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Extends Roof Life
  • Provides Urban Amenities

What is the future of green roofs?

Green roofs will be able to reduce energy and remove pollutants and dust in the air. As they are a great way to add to the environment and promote better practices while saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions they may be implemented more and more with other methods of roofing.

Speak to Your Local Roofers Today About Green Roof Construction

A green roof installation will be a great way to provide an attractive look to your roof while producing a number of benefits from energy cost savings to protecting the environment. There are many types of plants and vegetation that you may want to place on your roof. Speaking to a qualified roofing company will be a great way to see what options are available for your project preferences and goals. Only with a professional rofoer will a roof inspection and all necessary measures be taken to comply with proper roof specifications and details. Get started with a green roof today and enjoy a colorful and unique roof for years to come.

If you’re interested in a green roof in Austin, TX call (512) 524-3011 with MKCS Roofing!