Green roofing supplements the traditional vegetation without disrupting urban infrastructure, taking a neglected space and making a thing of beauty.
Green roofing will last longer than a conventional roof, reducing the energy costs using natural insulation, while creating a peaceful retreat. They also utilize most of the rain water, decreasing the need for a costly drainage system.
Two types of green roofing exist: intensive and extensive. Intensive green roofs are essentially elevated parks. They can sustain shrubs, trees, walkways and benches with their complex structural support, irrigation, drainage and root protection layers. The foot or more of growing medium needed for an intensive green roof creates a load of up to 150 pounds per square foot. Extensive green roofs are relatively light around 50 pounds per square foot. They support ground cover that requires very little maintenance. Extensive green roofs usually exist solely for their environmental benefits and usually don't function as accessible rooftop gardens.
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In a medical facility, green roofing can be a wonderful break for patients and employees to find a peaceful environment on the roof of the building: providing relaxation with a pleasing haven, a place where someone can relieve stress. A new construction medical facility located in Katy, Texas, wanted to provide this kind of place utilizing creating a green roof to improve morale for the staff and patients alike.
A green roof can be characterized as a man green -made garden that is installed on the roof of a building. It is maintained the same way as a garden, covering a part of the roof with a growing medium and vegetation. Installed over a waterproof membrane, the green roofing provides an extremely high R-value for the building.
Green roofing protects the underlying roofing membrane from the weather as well as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, allowing them to last twice as long traditional roofs. Green roofs also have a fairly stable surface temperature, remaining at air temperature or cooler while traditional rooftops can soar up to 90º F (32º C) above air temperature [Source: EPA]. The extra growing medium and vegetation insulates the building from intense temperatures and minimizes heat gain. According to a Canadian study, even a six-inch extensive green roof can reduce summer energy demands by 75 percent.
The benefits of green roofing are enticing for eco-minded homeowners and businesses as well. Green roofs handle water runoff and drainage overflowing issues. The Vegetation and soil act as a sponge, absorbing and filtering water that would normally plunge down gutters, wash through polluted streets and over-tax sewer systems. A green roof's plants remove air particulates, produce oxygen and provide shade. They use heat energy during evapotranspiration, a natural process that cools the air as water evaporates from plant leaves.
Read More... "HIGHER GROUND" in Spray Foam Magazine - March/April 2014