Examining the Benefits of Green Roofing in Summer and Winter

Green Roofing Can Provide Year-Round Economic and Environmental Benefits

Green RooftopOver the last several years, many metropolitan centres including Toronto have placed a substantial emphasis on environmental protection programs.  City councils have enacted by-laws to establish eco-friendly practices in several areas, such as waste management and recycling, tree removal/ planting, storm water management/mandatory downspout disconnection, and usage of property maintenance products.  One of the more prominent initiatives in this respect has been an accent on transforming unused rooftop space into green roofing.

A green roof is essentially a garden built on a rooftop that consists of vegetation planted in a growing medium which in turn sits upon a waterproof membrane.  In January 2010, Toronto instituted a by-law that mandated the installation of green roofing on any new structures with a floor area of 2,000 square meters or more, and by 2014, the city was considered to be among the top five urban centres in North America for its green roof conversion rates.

Green roofing presents a number of benefits, environmental and economic, including but not limited to:

  • Reduction of storm water run-off
  • Improvements in energy efficiency
  • Enhanced aesthetics or curb appeal
  • Improvements in air quality indexes
  • Effective moderation of temperatures
  • More efficient use of pre-existing space
  • Sound barrier – noise reduction properties
  • Biodiversity (sustaining plant life and wildlife)
  • Cost savings – low maintenance, longer roof life

Admittedly, the majority of studies on green roofing, and therefore most of its associated benefits, have been aligned with the summer season.  However, there is recent evidence to suggest that green roofing can add to the insulating properties of a roof, and thereby help to reduce heat loss and decrease energy consumption rates in the winter as well.

The underlying factors in these winter-season findings were essentially two-fold:

  • Evergreens (mainly junipers) were the predominant plant life
  • Base was thicker than the more customary green roof depth

Consequently, implementing the above design aspects within any green roofing initiative will allow building owners, property managers, and tenants to realize energy savings and overall greater comfort on a year-round basis.  This will be in addition to the commonly-accepted environmental benefits associated with these types of roofing projects.

This may be of particular interest to owners/property managers of buildings constructed before 2010 and hence not subject to the City of Toronto by-law.  Through an expansion of Toronto’s green roofing emphasis, installation of a green roof for qualifying structures that were erected prior to the by-law introduction may be eligible for funding of $75.00 per square meter, to a maximum potential benefit of $100,000.00.

Whether green roofing is to be added to an existing building or incorporated in the plans for a future structure, property owners/managers would be well-advised to consult with Toronto roofers who possess experience and expertise in flat roof installation as well as the construction of green roofing; one such contractor is Avenue Road Roofing, a leader in Toronto’s roofing industry for more than 40 years.

Rely on Experienced Toronto Roofers to Construct and Maintain Green Roofing

Garden on the roofThere are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when constructing any green roofing, especially those designed to moderate interior building temperatures in both summer and winter.  Additionally, proper maintenance will be required on a regular basis in order to ensure the optimal long-term performance of the roof.

The green roofing experts at Avenue Road Roofing can provide valuable insight in terms of the roof design; subsequently, these same experts will provide skilled workmanship in the roof’s construction plus thorough inspection and maintenance on a year-round basis.

In more specific detail, the related services offered by Avenue Road Roofing can include:

  • Green Roofing Construction
    • Assessing integrity of roof structure
    • Removing the existing roofing material
    • Installation of a new waterproof membrane
    • Designing/constructing a proper drainage system
    • Installing the growing medium and chosen vegetation
  • Green Roofing Maintenance
    • Keeping gutters/drains clear
    • Inspecting all caulking and seals
    • Checking for wind or water erosion
    • Appropriate snow removal and disposal

Visit Our Green Roofing Page for more information on the conversion of traditional flat roofing into viable green space by the experts from Avenue Road Roofing.

If you would like to take advantage of the year-round benefits of green roofing, call the green roof construction specialists at Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 or contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation at your convenience.