What Are Green Roofs?
Green roofs are pretty simple – rather than a traditional roof covered with shingles or gravel (in the case of large commercial buildings), the roof area is turned into a garden of sorts. Plant life can be added to almost any roof provided that the roof is flat and not pitched. This makes green roofs ideal for use in urban areas, as well as in suburban areas.
Plants Absorb Sunlight
One of the reasons that cities are warmer than the surrounding countryside is that buildings both reflect sunlight into the area and absorb heat and release it throughout the day and night. However, with green roofs, plants absorb a large amount of that sunlight, helping to reduce the overall amount of heat retransmitted into the area from buildings, combating the heat island effect.
In addition, green roofs absorb sunlight that would otherwise heat up the interior of buildings and force the use of air conditioning. With a green roof, 25% less energy is required to cool the air within a building, reducing electricity costs and benefiting the environment.
Can Be Created Anywhere
Finally, unlike traditional gardens, green roofs can be created almost anywhere and often require no maintenance other than a drainage/rainwater capture system. The rain that falls on the roof can be reused to water the plants. In arid areas, a minimal watering system can be installed very easily.