Green Roof

Definition - What does Green Roof mean?

A green roof is the top of a building that is covered partially or entirely in vegetation. Green roofs can be installed and cultivated over homes, businesses, or almost any other building that has the structural capacity to withstand the weight of the roof and its plants and water. When deciding on a green roof, you should also consider how it will be accessed to care for it.

Green roofs are a major help in fighting the urban heat island effect, in which urban areas are intrinsically hotter than rural areas due to the massive amounts of concrete and the heat produced and reflected by city structures.

A green roof may also be known as a living roof, eco-roof, or vegetated roof.

MaximumYield explains Green Roof

More and more individuals and businesses are opting for green roofs for a number of ecologically conscious reasons. A green roof could dramatically decrease the carbon footprint and help the local ecosystem in several ways, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing local oxygen production and carbon dioxide absorption
  • Reducing water runoff from storms by absorbing rainwater
  • Providing habitat for wildlife
  • Insulating buildings from external temperature extremes and sound pollution
  • Reducing the frequency of needing to replace the rooftop
  • Filtering air and water

Though they may seem like it, green roofs are not a new idea. They’ve been made and used for thousands of years and have only recently regained popularity with modern architects, business owners, and homeowners.

Modern green roofs do differ from older versions in that the vegetation on the roof will grow in a medium or substrate, much like many indoor gardens and hydroponic gardens. Depending on the roof’s weight capacity and the type of vegetation, this substrate may be as shallow as 20 inches (51 cm) or as deep as a yard (91 cm) or more.

Typically, green roofs come in one of two categories: extensive and intensive. Extensive roofs are shallower and lighter weight. They will typically have grasses, moss, and other vegetation with shallow root systems growing on them. Intensive roofs have a significantly deeper layer of substrate and will generally have heavier plants with deeper root structures. Some intensive green roofs on large office buildings even have large shade trees and park-like areas where people can enjoy some time outside in the fresh air.

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