Green roofs, also known as living roofs provide an environmentally friendly, attractive and practical roofing solution. No longer just the preserve of architecturally designed ‘eco pads’, this technology can be applied almost anywhere where buildings are present. How about putting a one on your shed as a small scale DIY project?

Green roofs fall into two main categories:

Intensive green roofs are usually roofs with a reasonable depth of soil, enabling it to grow a range of large plants, a kitchen garden, or a conventional lawn. This type of green roof is ideal if you are looking to create a new space that you can utilize and enjoy. The downside of this type of roof is that the upfront costs will be higher, and a reasonable amount of maintenance, such as weeding feeding and irrigation, will be required.

Extensive green roofs consist of only a thin layer of soil, or equivalent medium, and tend to be populated with a small number of specially selected species of plants. This type of roof is generally cheaper to set up, and requires relatively little maintenance with many systems only requiring weeding and fertilizing once a year.

Living roofs can be installed on bot flat and sloped roof surfaces, and can be as complicated and expensive to install as a roof top park, or as simple as a layer of Rockwool or other medium fastened to an existing waterproof roof and seeded with Sedum species and mosses.

Whichever type you decide to install the benefits to both you and the environment are numerous, including:

Benefits to you:

  • Provides great insulation, reducing your energy bills
  • Evaporative cooling generated reduces air conditioning loads by up to 90%
  • Great sound insulation
  • Dramatically increased roof life span
  • Increases property value

Environmental Benefits:

  • Increases energy efficiency, reducing CO2 output
  • Creates diverse wildlife habitat, often in habitat poor areas of urban wilderness
  • Reduces storm run off
  • Filters both air and run off water, removing pollutants and increasing purity
  • A concentration of living roofs can combat the urban island heat effect, reducing city temperatures

So in summary, green roofs are a practical roofing solution that provide many environmental benefits and benefits for the users of the building on which they are installed. Whilst they cost a little more to install than a regular roof to install, they more than pay this back over time in reduced energy bills and increased roof life span. A green roof will also add value to your property

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