You can save money, lessen your environmental footprint, and present a socially responsible business model by adding a green roof to your commercial building.
What is a green roof?
A green roof consists of a waterproof membrane, soil, and vegetation that are installed over an existing roof. The level of soil and vegatation that is added depends upon the ability of the existing structure to withstand the additional weight.
The more soil and vegetation that can be added to the roof, the greater the benefits. However, any type of green roof can provide financial, environmental, and social impact to your business.
What are some of the benefits of installing a green roof?
Storm water control and filtration
Regulation and filtering of storm water is a primary benefit to both the business and local waterways. Vegetation traps storm water and releases it over a longer period, which minimizes the risk of flooding and foundation damage.
The vegetation also acts as a natural filter, trapping pollutants that would normally be swept into sewers and then to local waterways.
Lowered energy costs
Green roofs don't absorb the heat of the sun as asphalt roofs, so they can substantially reduce cooling costs in the summer months.
Conversely, a layer of soil and vegetation acts as additional insulation that keeps your heat from escaping through the roof during the cold of winter.
Environmental benefits for the surrounding community
Because a building with a green roof is absorbing less heat from the sun, it contributes less to the cumulative buildup of heat in the area from the roofs of other buildings with conventional roofs as well as concrete walkways and asphalt road surfaces.
Green roofs also help to foster the presence of birds, insects, and other creatures that may normally abandon an area for greener pastures.
A properly installed green roof will add an additional layer of protection for the existing roof structure, saving on repair and maintenance costs.
What should you consider before hiring a commercial roofer to install a green roof?
You should first find a roofing company that is experienced in commercial green roof systems, and can provide assurance of expert installation. This is especially important in installation of the waterproof membrane.
There are also other considerations that may apply on individual cases, including:
- Can your building's structure support a green roof?
A commercial roofers can inspect your building and determine the amount of weight that the building can support and the type of green roof that can be installed.
- Is your building designated as a historic building? There may be limits on modifications that can be performed.
A commercial roofing company will also be familiar with repairs or other modifications that are allowed on historic buildings, and obtain the necessary permits when a petition is approved.
- Can you afford the initial expense? Although a green roof is cost effective in the long term, the initial cost is higher than a traditional roof replacement.
Even if your roof is in good shape at the present time, investing in a grren roof will reap benefits for years to come, with increased roof durability, energy savings, and enhanced social responsibility