Green Roof Equals Savings

green roofGreen roofs are fairly new to the United States, although European countries have been reaping the benefits for years now. Not only is a green roof great for the environment, it also reduces expenses.

What is a Green Roof?

When first hearing about green roofs, many people think of roofs that are good for the environment. After all, “going green” is a hot buzz term that’s been going around in the last couple of years.

The fact of the matter is that, while green roofs are unquestionably good for the environment, they are also… well, green!

Roofing systems have been developed which allow green growth, such as grasses and wildflowers, to grow on rooftops. Embedded in a lightweight soil replacement layer, these plants get all the nutrients they need to survive on a roof top, and the rain gives them the same water they would get if they were growing on the ground.

The surprising thing about green roofs is the many benefits they have for both the environment and the owner’s bank account.

Helping the Environment

It’s a fact of life in the urban jungle. Runoff from rainwater carries pollutants into our waterways. More runoff means more pollutants.

A standard roof that’s 50 feet by 50 feet, with a 1” rainfall, will runoff an amazing 1563 gallons of water. Multiply that by the number of inches of rain in a year and calculate again for every roof in the city and you get the picture of the massive amounts of runoff that pour into our waterways every year, dragging pollution with them.

A green roof, on the other hand, experiences little or no runoff. The layers absorb the water giving the plants life and reducing the amount of pollutants that are spewing into rivers and lakes.

This pollution reduction has also made a noticeable impact on acid rain levels. Less acid rain means even less negative impact on our waterways and the wildlife that lives in them.

Helping the Bottom Line

The benefits of green roofs go far beyond just helping the environment. Installing a green roof is a win-win proposition that helps the environment and drastically reduces cost.

A standard roof can reach temperatures up to 180 degrees. That heat gets absorbed into the building forcing air conditioning units to work harder. Harder working units cost more money in both electric bills and repair bills.

A green roof reduces roof temperature to that of the air around it. A roof that might be 180 degrees under normal conditions is now only 85 or 90 degrees. Your air conditioner works less in the summer and your heating unit works less in the winter. That adds up to some sizable year-round cost savings.

Win-Win with Green Roof

With a little luck and a lot of concerned people, green roofs might soon become the norm in the United States. Until then, do some research and find out what you need to do to save the environment, and money, with a green roof.