There is a new trend in commercial roofing contractor that has begun to appeal to people: green roofs. These are roofs that have layers which are meant to supplement vegetation over urban infrastructure, making an unused space useful and even beneficial to the environment.
Why Green Roofs?
Green roofs have several benefits, and one of them is that they filter pollutants and sequesters carbon. This helps reduce the urban heat island effect, a condition where urban areas create an “island” of absorbed and trapped heat. It also creates habitats and peaceful retreats for humans and animals, and it can even aid in agricultural applications. Green roofs help solve the problems of regular roofs while being a good way to promote environmentalism.
Green Roof Types
Green roofs come in three main types: extensive, intensive, and semi-intensive.
Extensive systems are ones that exist only for their benefits to the environment. They are used on roofs that are not easily accessible, and the vegetation placed here are self-sustaining and require only little maintenance.
On the other hand, intensive systems are green roofs that essentially act as elevated gardens or parks. They can sustain even trees and shrubs and require frequent maintenance.
Then there are also semi-intensive systems which are a combination between the two and have a mix of plants that require maintenance from time to time.
When it comes to implementing green roofs, there are a couple of things you need to consider.
The first is design. Other than making sure to have planning consent for designing the green roof and having trusted manufacturers and suppliers that you can ask for design specifics, you want to make sure that your design also takes into account accessibility, plant biodiversity, fire risks that may come from dry vegetation, and the schedule of maintenance after installation.
You also need to keep in mind structure. The roof’s pitch and load capacity need to be considered for the implementation of green roofs. It depends on the roof’s pitch whether it needs more drainage or waterproofing support. Other factors are the structure of the roof and the building needs to have the capacity to carry a total load of the plants that are to be placed on it.
Water management is also a very important aspect of green roofs. Not only do you need irrigation for water-dependent plants, but the roof also needs protection from the water itself. For this, you can have layers of waterproofing and root-protection installed.
A moisture retention layer will also be of help to water-dependent plants. Non-potable rainwater can still be collected from the roof, and for this purpose, it should be noted that no fertilizer should be used on the plants, as excess nutrients can lead to a rapid increase in algae.
Lastly, the vegetation on the roof will differ depending on the type. The soil should have a ratio of 70:30 inorganic to organic material, and the substrates used should be lightweight and should not have a lot of nutrients. There are also seed mixtures specifically curated for these kinds of applications depending on the green roof type.
Green roofs make unused spaces useful and efficient while also helping promote environmentalism. Not only do they help mitigate environmental problems brought about by urbanization, but they also create a beautiful environment for people and even animals to reside in. It’s good to consider them for your next roofing and restoration plans.