Is Green Roofing Right For Your Property?
The roof on most commercial buildings is an afterthought to owners and property managers unless of course, it is leaking. This is dated thinking and needs some reframing. Specifically, owners and PMs should be thinking about their commercial roof as an essential component of the building asset that can add to the value of the building. Of course, a roof needs to be functional, keeping the building, its contents, and occupants, safe and dry. But, what if it was also designed and built as an actual garden oasis, planted with grasses and flowers indigenous to the area, adding green space for building occupants to enjoy? This isn’t a fantasy. In fact, vegetated roofs, and other living architectural features are increasingly being incorporated into modern building design.
The Sustainability of Green Roofing
Aside from the obvious emotional benefits that building occupants gain from having a rooftop greenspace at their home or office, vegetated roofs provide meaningful other advantages. All vegetated roofs reduce building stormwater runoff, a significant benefit to infrastructure in dense urban environments. This is exactly why cities in the US like Washington DC, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City offer financial incentives to building owners and developers that incorporated vegetated roofs into their buildings.
The growing medium and plants incorporated in vegetated roofs provide excellent and usually improved, insulating performance when compared to traditional membrane roof systems. This keeps buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, while using less energy to condition the building air.
Vegetated roofs can provide a needed home for urban wildlife including birds, bees, and butterflies. Urban environments benefit from more nature. In addition, many people enjoy watching the birds and butterflies throughout the spring and summer.
The Practicality of Green Roofing
Pardon my dive “into the weeds” but, there are two types of vegetated roofs; these are intensive and extensive. An intensive roof contains robust vegetation and may double as a garden space. They can include up to 1,000 mm of soil, large plants, perennials, shrubs, and grasses that can be enjoyed by occupants.
An extensive green roof is a lower-maintenance option. These roofs may have low-growing succulents, herbs, moss, and sedum. Extensive roofs should not have more than 200mm of soil and require less watering than the intensive option. Extensive roofs are generally enjoyed by occupants from windows, rather than as accessible green space.
The same benefits of limiting stormwater run-off, added insulating performance, and creating a habit for wildlife are found with both intensive and extensive system. And, in the case of both vegetated roof types, a robust and proven waterproofing and drainage system is installed below the growing medium and vegetation to protect the building from water intrusion.
Whether you’re in the market for restoration, repairs, or new construction, Innovative Roofing Group understands the importance of high-quality craftsmanship. Call 404-594-6038 or email us today for solutions for your commercial roof!