The trend towards green roof construction has been quietly growing in major cities around the world since the 1960's. Although green roofing is quite common in Europe, it has only begun to gain industry acceptance in the US over the past several years as individuals, government agencies, and businesses alike have become interested in its environmental benefits and cost-saving potential. Green roof construction provides companies with sustainable energy that can cut costs significantly.
Ideal Plants for a Green Roof
Generally speaking, the plants you select for your green roofing should be ecologically compatible with your construction location and resistant to weather, insects and disease. Ideal plants are very hardy, fast growing, non-invasive, and fire resistant. For minimal maintenance, they should have a shallow, fibrous root system and be resistant to damage when walked on. Succulent groundcovers like Delosperma, Jovibarba and Sedum are top choices for green roofing.
Why Install a Green Roof System?
The motivation for installing green roof systems is varied, as they offer plenty of benefits over traditional roofing. For some, green roofing is a necessary step on the path to LEED certification. Some cultivate roof systems simply out of a desire to be environmentally responsible. Plenty of others are looking for ways to conserve on energy as a means of reducing costs.
Whatever the reason, the construction of all green roof systems follows the same basic blueprint. The key components include decking, waterproofing, insulation, drainage, filter cloth, medium and, finally, plants. The selection of plants depends entirely on the roof's primary purpose, but extremely comes down to a question of how much time and money you have to allocate to roof maintenance. Green roofing can help your company or home save money by saving you countless dollars on energy costs and even providing revenue through the sale of excess energy.
Green Roofs, LEED & Responsible Building
Green roofs, LEED certified construction, and other environmentally responsible building building practices are on the rise. Awareness campaigns extolling the virtues and benefits of sustainable building and design are encouraging municipalities across the country to follow the example of cities like Chicago, which currently leads the nation in green roofs, LEED certification and incentives to encourage environmentally responsible businesses.