The ‘Green’ Above Conserves Energy
by Sharon Coral
It may seem odd to some, but owning a living roof is one of the greatest ways to give back to the environment. (Not to mention, one of the coolest things to have on your dwelling).
There are more and more buildings going up across the country where the architect and designer have mapped out the perfect partial or complete cover of roof vegetation. Not only does the living roof come in handy with lowering the electric bills and helps increase the property value because of built-in waterproofing, but the esthetic of the home or building increases dramatically.
Many layers can be added to these living roofs, including a root barrier and drainage and irrigation system. More and more homeowners are requesting to have container gardens on rooftops, as well as rooftop ponds which are essential in treating greywater.
When it comes to conserving energy for a building or home, green roofs come in extremely handy for absorbing rainwater in order to provide a break in water bills and problems; they also provide that extra insulation that will cut electric bills for the residents. But the benefits do not stop there. By building a green roof, you literally create a perfect habitat for wildlife, and help lower urban air temperatures that can reach sweltering status in the big city.
And like all other aspects of the architectural design process, there are types of green roofs that a buyer can choose from in order to get the very best look for their building or home. Intensive roofs are used in the more urban areas because they are thicker. Being able to support a huge variety of plants is amazing, but because they are heavier, that willing and reliable maintenance man/woman becomes a necessity. For a more suburban area, extensive roofs are usually chosen because of the light layer of vegetation that won’t cause harm from pressure.
With geothermal heating and cooling systems now being on every homeowner’s ‘must-have’ list when it comes to updating their home to save major amounts of money, green roofs are also being chosen to reduce heat loss and increase energy consumption when Old Man Winter starts to blow.
And, again, just like geothermal, green roofs can reduce cooling energy that can make the utility bill skyrocket, by fifty to ninety percent. Many owners have even gone one step further and encased the garden roof in glass, creating a solar heat reservoir that, when combined with other green roofs in the city, can reduce the entire city’s average temperatures during the summer.
Knowing that you have a green roof above your head offers an even bigger sigh of relief, because these roofs filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, easing the pain of asthma and other breathing issues.
When it comes to the water-wise out there, the green roof retains rainwater and moderates the water temperature. And when it comes to money saved by the owner, because of the installation of these green roofs, the lifespan of the actual roof increases greatly.
The entire building as a real estate package increases in value while offering only good things to the area. And when it comes to the initial investment, owners are now able to cash in with federal and local tax incentives.
As energy savings becomes more and more important, the green roof will rise in popularity along with the geothermal heating and cooling systems that millions of people are installing into their homes.
This is most definitely a great way (not to mention a scenic way) to ‘go green!’
Source: Baret News Wire