Green / Cool Roof

The advantages of incorporating a cool roof assembly or green roof as part of your commercial or industrial roofing retrofit project are many.

Cool Roofs refer to waterproofing membranes on commercial, industrial, or institutional roofs which are designed to reflect the sun’s ultra-violet rays and that can result in lower heating and cooling costs for the roof asset holder, especially if combined with increased thermal insulation within the roof assembly.

Many will agree that more important is contributing to curbing the urban heat island effect. Major North American Cities recognize the fact that such items as pavement, asphalt rooftops, and emissions resulting from large commercial/industrial facilities serve to raise the temperature of our living environments.

The result is higher energy usage and costs to heat and cool such facilities. As energy costs rise and as we are as a society challenged to reduce our carbon footprint, the decision to select a cool roof assembly can provide dividends to the building stakeholder and our environment alike.

The City of Toronto had adopted a progressive view, following large cities like Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia which have previously mandated the use of cool roofing on commercial new builds and retrofit roofing projects.

Where existing commercial and industrial structures that may require re-roofing are concerned; in Toronto and the GTA there is no requirement at this time to use a cool or green roof, but it does provide the building owners with some added benefits.

To learn more about The City Of Toronto‘s Green Roofing By-law, or to learn about what incentives they currently provide, visit The City’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

Essentially cool roofs supply a highly reflective white surfaced membrane to reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Green roofs essentially refer to a living garden that is installed over top of a suitable waterproofing assembly.

Green roofs consist of two basic garden types. They are termed “extensive” and “intensive” green roofs.

Extensive green roofs consist of a polyethylene root barrier sheet which is applied over the waterproofing membrane system and is designed to isolate the vegetation matter from the waterproofing. A fleece retention layer is then applied over top and serves to hold in moisture for the benefit of the plant life.

Sod-like rolls are then installed which contain a mixed variety of sedums that produce interest throughout the growing season, and which go dormant in the late fall. The sedums receive additional soil and fertilizer to stimulate growth after planting.

When installing a green roof on the top roof a flat roof, there are a few points to consider such as location to a water source in the event of drought conditions, accessibility, potential fire risk, insurance coverage, and the primary element of making sure the structure can support the weight of a new roof assembly, and the saturated weight of the green assembly, and in addition to snow load.

When installing any type of green roofing, it is important to insure that the waterproofing assembly is tested prior to installation of the sedum mats. This is in addition to selecting a hearty water-proofing membrane.

Many large green roofs will incorporate an electronic grid that can detect and pinpoint roof leaks within one square meter. Such sophisticated systems can be found on mammoth green roofs such as those installed at the Ford Motor Company™ in Michigan.

Intensive green roofs could be summarized as being trays of plant species which can include flowers, and vegetables. Many large intensive green roofs will employ a mechanism for watering similar to the concept of irrigation.

Extensive systems tend to be less expensive to initially install, and perhaps lower maintenance.

The average cost of installing a green roof assembly including the cost of a new waterproofing membrane system is about double the roof replacement cost.

The benefits of installing a green roof include:

  • Attracts birds, butterflies, and insect life
  • Contributes to oxygenating the air
  • Curbs the Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Mitigates storm water run-off from our over-taxed stormwater system
  • Can serve to extend the usable life-cycle of the water-proofing assembly by nearly double
  • Acts as an insulation layer and helps lower building heating and cooling costs.
  • Transforms useless outdoor space into usable space if employing walk paths/sitting areas.

To learn more about green roofing and cool roofing, contact the Commercial Division of AVENUE ROAD ROOFING®; a previous Green Roofing Award winner.

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Since 1974, AVENUE ROAD ROOFING® has represented a safe and reliable choice for discerning clients representing the industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential sectors throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

We have served over fifty thousand clients and counting. We are very grateful to our extraordinary installation teams, vendor and safety partners, and customer service associates that do the heavy lifting on a daily basis, 365 days, year after year.

After more than four decades, AVENUE ROAD ROOFING® remains a stable business partner that people have come to depend on for almost every type of exterior renovation project. We are known for having completed some of the toughest projects in terms of access, and supplying artisanal results for specialty work on many of Toronto’s finest buildings, Churches, and homes.

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