Whether you're working with commercial, industrial, or residential buildings, vegetative roofs are an attractive option for those with sustainability in mind.
Vegetative roofs are thin layers of living vegetation installed on top of conventional flat or sloping roofs. The vegetation could consist of grass, flowers, or shrubs planted over a waterproof roofing membrane, such as EPDM.
Although some people call this type of roof a “green roof,” the term “vegetated roof” is more accurate and less confusing as a roof can be considered “green” without being vegetated.
While vegetative roofs are not a new concept (in 1931, the Rockefeller Center in New York City was built as the first prominent U.S. modern vegetated roof), they are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable way to save energy and resources, which ultimately translates into cost savings.
Below are some of the environmental and building owner benefits vegetative roofs provide.
- Decreasing stormwater runoff and the burden on local water treatment centers.
- Mitigating urban heat island effects, which also reduces a building’s HVAC energy response to keep the building cool in summer months. This in turn reduces energy demand for fossil-fuels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), vegetative roofs can reduce building energy use by 0.7% compared to conventional roofs, which reduces peak electricity demand and leads to an annual savings of $0.23 per square foot of the roof's surface.
- Prolonging the life of the roofing system underneath, specifically reducing direct exposure to inclement weather.
- In some instances, vegetative roofs can be designed like gardens providing beautiful sitting areas for building occupants.
If you're considering installing a Vegetative Roof System, there are three types of vegetative roofs: extensive vegetative roofs, intensive vegetative roofs, and semi-intensive vegetative roofs. As such, when it comes to installing an extensive vs. intensive vegetative roof, there are some important distinctions to keep in mind. Gain an overview of the differences between intensive vs. extensive vegetative roofs, and learn the benefits of each.