Green Roofs: The Beginning of a Rufolition
May 3, 2012 by The Dove
With today’s world learning more about the green movement and “going green” green roofs are becoming more popular everyday and provide numerous benefits for our ecosystem. Green roofs are a space of vegetation atop a building or home that shares a common root system instead of being individually potted. These buildings have specialized roofs able to hold the weight of the vegetation and prevent water from seeping into the infrastructure. There are two types of green roofs, intensive and extensive.
Intensive green roofs contain a wider variety of vegetation and require more maintenance. Extensive green roofs are covered in a light layer of vegetation and are easier to maintain, not needing as much maintenance work. The history behind green roofs began thousands of years ago with the Hanging Gardens in Babylon. These gardens were built over beams of stone covered in tar and reeds. Living plants and trees were then planted in soil on top. The modern idea of a green roof, with all its current advancements, was introduced in Germany in the 1960′s. Most popular in Europe and covering more than 10 percent of the continents buildings, green roofs are becoming more popular in the U.S.
The benefits attributed to green roofs are enormous. They provide both environmental and financial benefits. Green roofs help reduce heating loss in the winter and reduce cooling loss in the summer. They also create natural habitats for all kinds of urban wildlife. For health purposes, green roofs filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air as well as harmful chemicals and metals out of rain water. They also help expand agricultural space, making it possible to grow almost any kind of fruit or vegetable for vending or personal consumption. Green roofs form a natural habitat for many species to live giving them security and tranquility.
Green roofs can increase the real estate value of a property and if ever on the market may make it more attractive to potential buyers since the green movement is flourishing. Green roofs also increase the life span of the building’s underlying roof considerably, thinning out the cost of frequent repair. Constructing these roofs also creates lots of jobs for people. Maintenance crews benefit the most from them, including companies specializing in irrigation, drainage, and construction.
The one disadvantage of installing a green roof is at times it can be quite expensive. They roughly cost between fifteen and twenty dollars per square foot and even more depending on the variety of foliage. Continuing the life of the roof also requires maintenance, which can also add to the ongoing cost. Even with this disadvantage the advantages of having a green roof are greatly superior.
Green roofs are becoming more and more popular everyday and with the green movement booming we will eventually be seeing them on every other rooftop, benefiting us with its overall beauty.