Green Roofs Are a Great Way to Utilize Otherwise Untapped Rooftop Space

Green Roofs Convert Untapped Value into Economic and Environmental Benefits

Rooftop garden on a commercial building in downtownFor many commercial and multi-residence properties, the roof has often been considered as a type of wasteland or no-man’s-land, serving little purpose in the way of usable area except to provide the place to install the air circulation system. Since that space could not be leased or rented, building owners and property managers were occasionally heard to grumble that nobody ever went up there except the maintenance people and flocks of pigeons.

In recent years, however, a heightened emphasis on environmental preservation as well as resource conservation has led building owners/property managers to reconsider their perspectives on the value of their roof space; in other words, there has been a growing trend toward converting these areas, either in whole or in part, into green roofs.

Green roofs are essentially rooftop gardens that consist of vegetation planted in growing material which in turn rests on a waterproof membrane. Green roofs can be accessible or non-accessible to pedestrian traffic from within that particular building/structure, and may include an extra layer between the growing medium and the membrane in order to help with water drainage.

Installing green roofing offers a number of ecological/environmental benefits, including:

  • Better storm water management – less run-off/less stress on drainage systems
  • Moderation of temperatures provides/allows for better living/working conditions
  • Improvements in air quality and reduction of heat island effect in urban centres
  • Increased biodiversity, by sustaining plant life and creating natural bird habitats
  • Noise reduction capabilities – green roofs can act as an additional sound barrier
  • Contribution to recycling, through materials used to create the growing medium

Furthermore, building owners/property managers can reap several economic/budgetary gains from green roofs. Such benefits can consist of:

  • Reduced energy consumption costs – vegetation acts as a layer of insulation
  • Extended life of the HVAC systems – saves maintenance or replacement costs
  • Extended life of the roof/waterproof membrane – better return on investment
  • Enhanced property value – energy/cost efficiencies can attract renters/buyers
  • Possible income generation – rental space for gardening, recreational activities

To help maximize these benefits, whether focused on outward (environmental) or inward (financial) motives, property owners/managers would be well advised to capitalize on the experience of Avenue Road Roofing, one of the leading roofing companies in Toronto for over 40 years. The professionals at Avenue Road Roofing have considerable expertise in installing green roofs of all shapes, styles, and levels of complexity, thereby ensuring the highest quality of design and construction when contracted for any and all such projects.

Choose a Leader in Toronto Roofing Companies for Your Green Roof Project

A roofing expert installing plants on a building rooftop

In January 2010, the City of Toronto enacted a by-law that mandated the construction of green roofs for any new structures with floor areas equal to or greater than 2,000 square meters. Based on the size of the building, 20-60% of its roof space must be allocated to green roofing, and the types of properties affected by this edict include:

  • Residential (above five stories)
  • Commercial
  • Institutional
  • Industrial

Furthermore, the City of Toronto offers an incentive for the installation of green roofs on buildings not subject to this by-law, that is, for the types of properties noted above that were built before January 2010. Through this incentive program, property owners who choose to convert any existing rooftop space to green roofing could be eligible to receive funding of $75.00 per square meter, up to a maximum benefit of $100,000.00.

Regardless of the type of building, its age, and the basis for installing a green roof, there are several environmental and economic benefits to addressing this otherwise untapped space in such a manner. And, regardless of the scope of the project, the job needs to be done properly, in terms of both its physical construction and the adherence to any and all building codes.

That is why building owners/managers would be well-served to contract the services of a leader among Toronto roofers, Avenue Road Roofing, when construction of a green roof is either mandated or encouraged by the city’s by-law or incentive program respectively.

Want to convert existing unused rooftop space to a green roof? Call the experts from Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 to learn more about the benefits of such a conversion process for you, your building, and your residents or staff.