Green Roofs: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Green Roofs: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted by Best Access Doors on 2nd Sep 2020

Green buildings as a trend nowadays have made many homeowners and commercial property owners are now seriously contemplating the installation of green roofs. With global warming continually looming over our planet and making it warmer, we consume more electricity and rely more heavily on different appliances for our comfort. That's why all of us need to take steps towards improving our natural environment-- thus, the concept and development of a green roof.

What are Green Roofs?

Green roofs got the name because they are a sustainable option that is good for the environment. If a roof is eco-friendly, it can be called green. Green roofs usually have vegetation and plants, or for some, even a garden. Green cover for roofs include herbs, grass, drought-resistant plants, flowers, and even vegetables. However, it doesn't have to be a traditional garden or having sprawling or multiple types of herbs, plants, fruit-bearing trees, or fruits. It could just have grass or perennials, some bushes, or shrubs. 

Green roofs don't only look great-- they are also energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly, and they are also suitable for utilizing an often neglected area. Because the roof has plants and vegetation, green roofs bring several excellent benefits to every building. In this article, Best Access Doors have made a list of the advantages that green roofs provide.

The Advantages of Green Roofs

1. Better drainage system

An essential component of any building is by having sustainable drainage as a way to counter flooding in case of heavy rainfall. In a traditional sense, a network of pipes connected to the sewage system does the job. However, because of the increasing number in urban development, more water runs off into metropolitan areas, increasing the risk of flooding. Countering this threat means considering green roofs as a terrific option. Plants can store water and substrate before being released naturally back into the environment.

2. Increased roof lifespan

Since the roof is the building's protector from outside elements, it's continuously under attack from the elements throughout the year. Hence, a roof will need to deal sufficiently with wind and rain and ultraviolet light and fluctuating temperatures. For this reason, both homeowners and businesses resort to considering an alternative option for the roof. Green roofs ideally offer this alternative and have even proved to double or triple the life expectancy of your rooftop. The barrier made by the greenery helps protect the waterproof membrane underneath and ensures that your roof lifespan lasts well for decades.

3. Thermal performance boost

One of the most beneficial advantages of green roofs is, without a doubt, thermal performance. Even today, one of the biggest problems facing a typical roof is poor insulation that may lead to substantial heat loss in winter and sweltering conditions over the summer months. Fortunately, with the aid of a green roof, this can all change. With a green roof, you can ensure energy efficiency and limit the usage of air conditioning. During summer, the roof's temperature reduces with the plants' help that absorbs the sun's energy. When it comes to cold winter, a green roof aids thermal efficiency by locking heat inside.

4. Helping out the environment

One key contributing factor to global warming is the release of carbon dioxide. With the help of green roofs, there's less need for air conditioning while also ensuring that less heat is required for the winter season, thus reducing aircon and generation of heat that creates CO2.

5. Wildlife habitats

Did you know that green roofs help support wildlife and, in turn, will create a healthy habitat? Although they won't replace ground environments, green roofs are perfect for attracting birds and other wildlife to create a thriving eco-friendly habitat.

6. Improving air quality

Nowadays, air pollution continues as an alarming issue all over the world. In urban areas, especially larger cities, air pollution is a more significant problem. Having green roofs will help improve the overall air quality by reducing sulfur dioxide, nitrous acid, and even dust particles accumulated each year.

7. Helps in noise cancellation

When it comes to noise, metal or tiles, asphalt or slate, or any other material, don't altogether remove the noise. It isn't quiet, especially in urban landscapes, when you get closer to downtown areas. A green roof absorbs much more sound than an ordinary roof. Moreover, with green roofs, you will be able to achieve calmer indoors.

8. Benefit from the produce

When a green roof has a substantial size or floor area, it can grow many kinds of flowers, vegetables, and herbs. You can also produce many herbs of medicinal value on your green roof. Moreover, you can either use these herbs or sell them. Even fruits and vegetables can be grown organic on your green roof. With the produce that you can get from your green roof, you will be able to live an exceptional lifestyle and save money on your grocery shopping.

Disadvantages of Green Roofs

Although green roofs have advantages that speak for themselves, there are still a few drawbacks that you should keep in mind before investing in a green roof.

1. A higher cost than traditional roofs

Green roofs are advantageous, but unfortunately, they tend to be slightly more expensive than the standard roof options. The reason for this downfall is the extra support required for handling the greenery's increased load. You may have a more considerable initial setback. Over time, these green roofs will make up for the money you spent when you consider the number of incredible benefits that we discussed earlier.

2. Weight load increase

Of course, there's no doubt that green roofs will have to be heavier than traditional roofs because they require more structural support. Ordinarily, a green roof will increase the weight load between 50 and 200kg/meter squared to an existing rooftop. Moreover, some rooftops even need to be retrofitted to cope with the increase in pressure, while flat roofs are often enough to handle this capacity.

3. Needs extra maintenance

If you have a green roof and want to ensure it remains a thriving atmosphere, you will need to do some work. You should treat your green roof as a garden, and as such, it will require regular watering, feeding, and weeding. If you love working on gardens, you can undertake this task yourself or even employ someone to take care of the space. Whatever you choose, it's great to keep on top of your brilliant green area.

4. Requires a tedious effort

For people who don't have the luxury of time, maintaining a green roof can be difficult. Aside from ensuring that you always take care of everything from watering the plants to keeping them safe from pests, insects, and other threats, you also have to ensure your property is not becoming vulnerable to water damage. Having a green roof will require a more hands-on homeowner or commercial property owner.

Remember to Add a Roof Hatch!

If you are thinking about installing a green roof on your commercial building, consider adding a roof hatch for added convenience. Our BA-TRH Galvannealed Roof Hatch model is not only gives you easy entry to the roof, it is also LEED compliant. That means it can contribute directly to a project's ability to achieve LEED certification. Watch the video to see this roof hatch in action!

Installing a green roof on your commercial building makes a lot of sense, both economically and for the environmental benefits. The simple fact that your green roof will reduce storm water runoff and improve air quality should be reason enough to consider an upgrade. Be sure to add a roof hatch and you'll be enjoying the benefits in no time. Call us today at 888-509-2941 and we'll help you get started!