Here at Skyluxe Roofing, we’ve been helping people get roofing systems that benefit them and their surroundings. If you’re one of those who’d love to make a positive impact, maybe you’re wondering, “Are green roofs good for the environment?”

The straightforward answer is YES.

Green roofing systems benefit the planet in many ways. As a sustainable type of roof, more countries and cities worldwide are considering it. In this guide, you will learn the importance and advantages of green roofing.

Let’s get started, shall we?

First of All, What Is a Green Roof?

A green roof is a flat roofing system covered in vegetation. If you get an aerial view of a city, most buildings show modified bitumen, black EPDM, and TPO. By covering the roof material with plants, you can extend its lifespan.

Currently, there are 2 types of green roofs.

Intensive Green Roof

An intensive green roof has deeper soil. The depth is usually at 6 inches or more. It accommodates all kinds of greenery. Examples are flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and yes – trees. This is why people also label intensive green roofs as “rooftop gardens.” As you can tell, you need to carefully maintain an intensive green roof because of its complexity.

celery plants on soil above a flat roof

Intensive green roofs support many kinds of plants. You can even grow a vegetable garden!

Extensive Green Roof

The opposite of intensive green roofing, an extensive green roof has a shallow soil. The depth ranges from 3-6 inches. You’re limited in terms of plant choices. You can plant moss and herbs. The best part is that it requires less maintenance.

Are Green Roofs Good for the Environment? 5 Ways to Tell

Why a green roof? Before we dive into the environmental benefits of this roofing system, know that it enhances a property’s aesthetic appeal.

Yes, green roofs add beauty to your building. Like designing a garden, you as a property owner have to design the green roof carefully. The design will depend on your goals, existing roofing structure, and exposure to the elements.

If you didn’t know, there are amazing pictures of green roofs to inspire you. While you browse through various designs, get expert advice from your roofing contractor.

1. Manage Stormwater Runoff

One of the ways to control flooding (especially in urban areas) is to install a green roof. Are green roofs good for the environment? Absolutely. Green roofs work by holding water at the building level. Instead of flowing to drainage systems and into the rivers, the plants absorb it.

As you can tell, rain in urban environments carries pollutants. Untreated sewage is also released into the lakes. But with a green roof in place, water is absorbed and returned to the atmosphere. If this is one of your goals, know that a green roof can only hold water up to a certain amount. Its potential to do so depends on an area’s rainfall pattern.

2. Helps Reduce Global Warming

cartoon picture of urban environment

Green roofs help reduce the incidence of global warming by decreasing your use of air conditioning units.

Did you know that air conditioners are bad for the planet? Yes, they are because they release HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons). Hydrofluorocarbon is a greenhouse gas that potentially contributes to global warming. The worst part is that HCFs stay in the environment for years because of their stable nature.

Okay, so how does a green roof aid in saving the environment? A green roof keeps your building cool. On warmer days of the year, you don’t have to increase the use of air conditioners. Green roofs shield your flat roofing material from the heat of the sun.

Aside from decreasing the demand on your air conditioner, plants on a green roof purify the air you breathe.

3. Serve as Wildlife Habitats

Urbanization delighted most humans. But at the same time, it led to biodiversity loss. Important species that are part of our ecosystem have been driven away from their natural habitats. Green roofs offer a healthy home for insects to thrive.

In fact, you can find various types of insects on a green roof. Examples are beetles, ants, and ladybugs. These living creatures help enrich the soil by returning nutrients. Ladybugs feed on other insects that damage your flowers. One can realize how important wildlife can be to preserving your green roof.

4. Improvement of Air Quality

tree branches and leaves

Want a cleaner, fresher air? Green roofs make this a possibility.

The air around us affects our health and well-being. With more and more buildings being built, green roofing is now recognized as a means to getting fresher air. Plants clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide.

One might think, “Well, a single building with a green roof doesn’t make a lot of difference.” But imagine if cities prioritized green roofing. If you own an office building, you can dedicate a green roof as a relaxation space. With every breath of fresh air, your employees experience higher energy levels, a positive mood, and a clearer mind.

5. Cuts Landfill Waste

Again, are green roofs good for the environment? Absolutely. Green roofing systems reduce landfill waste in two ways:

  • First, the materials used in creating rooftop gardens are recycled. For example, glass, tin cans, rubber tires, and crushed porous brick.
  • Second, green roofs prolong the lifespan of the flat roof beneath it. Because your roof lasts longer, you don’t have to replace it in years.

Flat Roof Used for Green Roofing Constructions

Ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM is a popular roofing system that supports roof gardens. Whether you own a home or store, EPDM is good to have. Here are a couple of reasons:

  • EPDM is highly resistant to mild acids and alcohols.
  • It’s one of the best defenses against the heat of the sun.
  • Tough and capable of supporting decks.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve answered the question, “Are green roofs good for the environment?” hopefully you’ll consider this roofing system. Whether you own a residential or commercial property, green roofing is an environmentally-friendly choice.

Being environmentally conscious is a great way to give back to the planet. Invest in a green roofing system today.

If you need more advice, be sure to call us at 647.952.2843. Skyluxe Roofing & Sheet Metal is an expert at green roofing and other types of roofs. We’ll provide you with a FREE QUOTE.