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Pros and Cons of a Green Roof

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In Lieu of Earth Day almost two weeks ago, let’s talk about green roofs ( aka, roof top gardens or eco-roofs)! 

Green roofs may seem to be a growing trend, but they have been around for a long time.  Perhaps we are more environmentally cautious now then we were to notice them previously.  Now they seem to be a growing trend. 

Today we are going to discuss some pros and cons to green roofs:

Pros

– They allow for people in urban environments to have gardens.

-Plants naturally assist in creating clean air for the environment, which is especially important in crowded cities and urban areas.

-Green roofs have financial benefits such as decrease heating and cooling costs. The green layer holds the heat in during the winter, and reflects the heat in the summer.  This means you aren’t spending as much to heat and cool your home.

-The day to day act of getting out and having easy access to a garden in the city is good for the mental health.  Furthermore, health studies show that gardening and being in nature promotes longevity and mental stability.  

Cons

  The system itself is expensive. It includes  a waterproofing layer to protect your roof, a proper drainage system, and then there is the landscaping after the initial system is installed.

   Green roof systems are extremely heavy, sometimes up to 100lbs/sqft.  Not every roof can withstand this weight. Have your roof evaluated by an architectural engineer before beginning on this project.

  Climate is something that could potentially be a con if you live in a climate where there is stronger winter weather.  While roof top gardens look gorgeous during the summer, the winter may be a different story.  This may affect the look of your house depending on how prominent your green roof is. 

          Permits and regulations.  There may be other regulations or maintenance you need to adhere to in your area before installing a green roof and throughout the duration of having the green roof.

 

The idea of rooftop gardens/greenspaces is wonderful.  Green roofs have a high initial cost for the entire system.  However, the health benefits of owning a green space in an urban environment is undeniable.  Make sure that before you decide a green roof is right for you, have a solid idea about how much it will cost, and the attention it requires to have a beautiful functioning green roof system!

  1. Like solar shingles, green roof desperately needs a push from the government or a big corporate honcho to make it affordable, lighter and better. It would not only be better for our environment, reduce our energy bills, give us fresh veggies but also present an amazing view when looked at from the top.

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