How does a green roof work?

deck on a roof

Are green roofs expensive?

Is your commercial building needing a new roof but you’re not sure what type of roofing material to have installed?  Take a look at going with a green roof!  Green eco roofing will help your building with insulation, which will keep your building cooler or warmer as needed without putting more strain on the HVAC system.

Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings had the right idea maybe. Bilbo lived in a house that was built inside a hill and the roof was covered with flowers and grass.  Today, we call that a green roof. 

A recent article discussed this topic and how the popularity of having a green roof among homeowners and commercial structure owners. A green roof can be planting a garden of grass, succulents, or other combinations of local plants. Or a green roof of vegetables that the occupants can harvest and enjoy. 

A green roof will be more expensive with initial install than a traditional black membrane roof. By using plants that are natural to the region for your green roof, that will help keep costs down considerably. The Environment Protection Agency estimates the cost of a green roof installation will be approximately $10 per square or he extensive style and $25 per square foot for the intensive style. The annual maintenance cost for extensive or intensive green roof can be as much as $1.50 per square foot. 

Do green roofs provide insulation?

A green roof provides extra layers that serve as insulation that decreases the heat that passes into the building. This reduces the cooling load, which lightens the electricity use, lowering your bill. There are several other  green roofing benefits to be enjoyed as well: 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduced

By reducing the cooling load, this reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with HVAC equipment and the fossil fuel used to create the electricity. The photosynthesis is increased with each plant or tree that is planted on a green roof which reduces the carbon dioxide that surrounding industries, mechanical systems, and vehicles produces.  The overall oxygen production is increased. 

Roof Life Extended 

A green roof will increase the original roof’s life expectancy with extra layer of protection of the UV rays and extreme temperatures common in the Tennessee area during the summers. With this extra protection, less maintenance is needed, another money saving feature of a green roof. With proper green roof maintenance you can expect to double the life of the roof.

Urban Amenities Provided

With a green roof, urban green space is increased, providing a space of  comfort and enjoyment for the employees and visitors in the building. An aesthetic, pleasing view and environment where you can hold meetings or simply a relaxing atmosphere. A green roof also provides birds and insects a refuge when their natural habitat was destroyed by urban development. 

Why are green roofs eco friendly?

Green roofing solutions contribute to the sustainability efforts by conserving energy with building insulation and mitigating the gain of thermal heat. This reduces the need for cooling and heating.  

How long does a green roof last?

With proper maintenance and upkeep of a green roof, you can expect a 40 year lifespan. Over that over years, you will save as much as $200,000 with roof repairs and energy costs. The design of the green roof and the geographic location and surrounding will have an effect on those economic benefits and can vary from building to building. 

rooftop view from a green roof

How do you maintain a green roof?

Whether you choose between green roofs intensive vs extensive, there is a need to choose a strategy that will require your facilities team dedication to gain a green thumb and provide the maintenance and upkeep.  No matter which way you go with extensive or intensive, a roof garden will need some level of maintenance. There will be a need to apply fertilizer 3 to 4 times a year, pull weeds, and if you choose a vegetable growing green roof, you’ll need somebody that will harvest the production. 

Proper maintenance is a must to protect the investment and ensures that the green roof system achieves the original intention. Whether the intended purpose is for aesthetics, stormwater management, or thermal performance, maintenance will be required. 

Start your green roof organization by creating a maintenance plan and familiarize each member of the green roof team with the plan. The plan should include: 

  • A site map
  • Green roof type
  • Planting schedule
  • Irrigation controls
  • Routine inspections of the plant health, the moisture level, and the drainage

Keep a logbook of each time the green roof is fertilized, watered, and weeded. Keep records of the harvest acquired that includes what was harvested, how much, the date/time/temperature. 

A green roof is more than just being a part of the “green” lifestyle. It can also be great benefit to the building owner and occupants too, especially when everyone works together to make it happen. Call 865-238-2628 today for your green roof installation in Louisville and Chattanooga, TN.