Sometimes known as green roofs, eco-friendly roofs are designed to be partially or completely covered with vegetation. These types of roofs generally feature a growing medium which is installed over a waterproofing membrane. Eco-friendly roofs provide a number of benefits compared to traditional roofs. Not only do they offer environmental benefits such as absorbing rainwater and improving insulation, they also provide a number of financial benefits as well. In this article, we’ll briefly outline both the environmental and financial benefits of eco-friendly green roofs.
Perhaps one of the most notable benefits of green roofs is that they prevent unwanted heating and cooling of the building. During summer months, an eco-friendly roof provides an extra barrier from the sun to prevent overheating, while in winter months the roof prevents heat loss from inside the building. However, many people are surprised to learn that eco-friendly roofs can even reduce city temperatures in the summer, especially when a number of green roofs are concentrated together.
Other environmental benefits of green roofs include:
- Reduced water run-off,
- The creation of natural habitats,
- Extraction of carbon dioxide from the air and the creation of oxygen,
- Filtering of pollutants and heavy metals from air and rainwater,
- Improved sound insulation, and
- Increased agricultural space in urban areas.
While green eco-friendly roofs can be costly to install, they actually offer a wide range of financial benefits. First and foremost, green roofs have a considerably longer life span as the vegetation protects the waterproofing membrane and other roof structures from damage due to weather and UV rays. Moreover, as our society is more and more concerned about our environmental impact, green roofs actually increase the real estate value of a home or commercial property.
As you would expect from the improved insulation provided by eco-friendly roofs, these structures can even lower your energy usage and related costs. There may even be federal or local tax incentives for installing a green roof in your region. For example, property owners in New York City receive a property tax credit for one year if the associated building has at least 50% green roof.
As eco-roof technology advances, new systems are certain to offer even more advantages. The cost of installation may even reduce as more roofers become skilled in their application. Nevertheless, as things currently stand, eco-friendly roofs are an excellent choice for the environment while offering some important financial benefits as well. Today, more and more public and private companies are choosing green roof technologies as opposed to older technologies and it seems just a matter of time before the trend takes hold with private homeowners as well.