From an aesthetic standpoint, green roofs beautify a building and make it a more valuable piece of property. They also use materials that don’t go on to be dumped in landfills. They’re made from recycled materials, and they add to the life of HVAC systems, because those systems are used less.
Green roofs play a role.
Green roofs also can play an important role in stormwater management. For example, storm water is absorbed by the plants, and later returned to the atmosphere via evaporation. In summer, green roofs can store up to 90% of the rain that falls, while in winter about 40%. As a result, green roofs moderate temperature levels then act as receptacles for the runoff. An additional benefit is that by reducing rainwater runoff the effect decreases stress on sewer systems.
Improving air quality and ambiance.
Green roofs also improve air quality by capturing all sorts of pollutants, and also by filtering noxious gases. Temperature moderation can reduce the building’s power needs which then can decrease CO2 and other pollutants in the air.
Amenity spaces are being created on buildings that have green roofs. These amenity spaces are being used as community gardens and co-ops, as well as commercial space for stores, restaurants, and displays. Playgrounds and lawn bowling are additional uses.
Job creation is yet another benefit that comes with green roofs. They offer new employment opportunities in manufacturing, design, maintenance and installation, not to mention the growing and caring of the plants themselves. This is especially true in urban areas that were previously unusable.
And the benefits keep rolling on. Noise reduction, for example. A green roof can absorb noise and reduce sound levels up to 40 decibels, making it a much more pleasant atmosphere. In all, the benefits of retrofitting and existing building, or construction of a new building with a green roof, will make it more valuable, healthier, and simply a nicer place to live and work. And the results prove the point. In 2004, the number of buildings with green roofs was hardly a blip. But in 2014, close to 25,000,000 square feet of green roofing will have been installed – and that’s growing in the neighborhood of 25% each year. When that happens, the benefits of green roofs become immediately apparent.