Indoor climate control is one of the major benefits to having a living rooftop. In the summertime, it will decrease the amount of hot air that passes into the home through your roof, and in the winter, warm air is inhibited from escaping. Rooftop gardens are environmentally friendly for a couple of reasons.
The first is that they attract birds and small animals and offer potential habitats; also, they greatly decrease the amount of rainwater runoff, which is blamed for much of the pollution in our rivers and lakes. What water runoff does escape is potentially filtered and therefore cleaner than that from traditional roofs. Finally, your standard roof is protected by UV rays from the sun, and from other elements by your green roof, and therefore will last longer.
Installing a green roof is initially more expensive than adding a traditional roof, and the project is particularly complex if your home’s roof must be adjusted and reinforced in order to install the green roof on top of it. There are also maintenance costs involved that you would not have with a traditional roof. Also, be aware that green roofs are sometimes shades of brown during the winter or during periods of drought. This means there are times that your room will not be attractive.
There are two primary kinds of green roofs. Those are extensive roofs and intensive roofs. An extensive roof is distinguished by a medium that is not very deep, and a limited variety of plants, usually sedum and grasses. This is the roof that is best suited for a single family home; it generally weighs up to fifty pounds per square foot, and this includes water, plants, snow, and materials. An intensive roof, on the other hand, is usually seen on high rise apartment buildings and commercial buildings. They weigh up to one hundred fifty pounds per square foot and are characterized by a deeper planting medium, up to four feet deep, and a wide variety of plants and trees.
If you are building a new home, your green roof will be designed as part of your home designs. In this way, concerns about the strength and slope of your roof are part of the design plan. If you are adding a green roof to an existing home, the first step is an assessment of your existing roof, to find out if it is the right slope and if it is strong enough to sustain a green roof. The roof may need to be reinforced. Once these steps are taken, then your green roof is ready to install.