What Are Green Roofs?

Green roofs are the ones that have green vegetation that survive on a growing medium. The growing medium is installed over a waterproofing membrane. At times, green roofs may also contain extra layers that enhance the processes of irrigation and water drainage. It is important to gather the proper green roofing materials before proceeding with a green roof.

With the rising awareness of environmentalism, a roof that supports vegetation is termed as a ‘green’ roof. Such a roof can serve plenty of purposes, like, providing insulation to a building, absorbing rainwater, contributing in lowering temperature levels of air and producing a habitat that supports wildlife.

Basically, there are two types of green roofs. One is the intensive roof that is thick and is capable of supporting a significant amount of plant varieties. Such a roof would naturally require good maintenance. Another type of green roofs is extensive roof. It is comparatively lighter than the previous type.

A properly designed green roof must be equipped with the following subsystems:

Support for plant nourishment – The growing medium that is installed over the waterproofing base must be equipped with the accurate requirements of void ratio, retention of moisture, distribution of grains, and other green roofing materials.

Water drainage system – The drainage system must have all the necessary green roofing materials to ensure growth of vegetation during medium rainfall as well as during heavy rainfall. It must be designed to withstand damages due to erosion and standing water.

Security of waterproofing system – This is an important aspect of maintaining green roof systems. Green roofing materials must be capable enough to protect the underlying waterproofing system from any kind of external impact.

In order to make sure that the green roofing materials are functioning properly, a series of functions can be executed. For an example, the drainage layers of a green roof may encompass plastic sheets, granular mineral sheets or synthetic sheets.

In a similar way, the growing media that is being used amongst other green roofing materials may vary in composition, depending on the climate, requirements of engineering and plant community. Recycled roofing materials may be used as green roofing materials. Eco shake shingles can also be installed to enhance the beauty of a green roof.

There are a number of significant benefits of maintaining a green roof with the help of appropriate green roofing materials. Some of them have been stated as follows:

  • Enhancing quality of water
  • Extending the longevity of green roofing materials
  • Saving energy
  • Decreasing sound transmission and reflection
  • Developing an atmosphere for wildlife habitat
  • Enhancing the aesthetics of a place

These were just a few general advantages of having a green roof. The design of a green roof depends on a number of factors, that includes strength of structure that supports the green roofing system, slope, size and height of a roof, the waterproofing system, drainage system, and obviously, the climate.

There are several green roofing options available these days. One can even consider integrating a green roof with other green roofing options, like, solar roofing options. Such combinations are proved to work well in all aspects.

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