The idea of a green roof is not so far "out there" anymore. Gone are the "Little House on the Prairie" images as the sole option for a living housetop.
Do you know what Apple Computer, Ford Motor Company and the EPA Headquarters have in common?
You guessed it - they all have gardens on the tops of their buildings!
Why is this type of roof gaining so much in popularity?
Does it have to do with a "cave-type" house dug out of the side of the earth, with the grass growing on top?
Natural roof "charisma" has come a long way since then. There are numerous types and styles, from grids to gardens.
They are gaining in popularity for not only residential buildings, but for commercial as well. Big, flat areas on top of city buildings are prime candidates for going green - when initially built, or when renovation is planned.
When it comes to commercial buildings,
business is looking up!
There are numerous advantages to a living roof. Following are several of the primary reasons to "go green" from bottom to top:
* Cuts down on heating and cooling costs
* Provides insulating value
* Plant life filters pollutants out of the air
* Minimal maintenance may be required
* Reduces "urban heat island" effect - (where traditional roofing absorbs the sun's heat and raises the temperature of the city by up to 4 degrees)
* Prevents storm run-off problems
* Extends the life of a roof
Energy efficiency and easy installation are big factors in the green roof movement.
Plants are growing well before the time of installation (in many cases) so their addition can be a dramatic, instantaneous statement of life!
Note: These roofs MAY be heavier - so the foundation must be sufficient to support them.
Some companies tout the use of recycled materials (such as the base for the plantings), as well as the use of "modules"- the plants can be easily rearranged, and even moved out of the way to repair a problem.
Green roof technology makes it possible to have "Bare today, and Green Tomorrow" roofing - a great solution for an "instant" society.
You might want to consider one of these wonders of nature for your own green home.