Adapting a Flat Roof to Green Roofing Offers Environmental, Economic Benefits
With just a little research, it becomes quite evident that the concept of green roofing has been a part of history for hundreds of years. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are likely the first documented example of planting flora on the flat surfaces of buildings, while sod and grass roofs were popular ways to insulate homes during the Medieval Period and the Viking Age.
In essence, these are illustrations of green roofs in a literal sense, i.e.: the incorporation of green or living vegetation on the uppermost parts of buildings or shelters. Today, the term green has a dual connotation; while it can still describe a tangible living roof, green is now also symbolic of activities directed at preserving or protecting the environment; in other words, green now has literal and figurative meanings.
Over the last couple of decades, there has been considerable emphasis on environmental protection, especially concerning such initiatives as recycling, reducing carbon emissions, storm water management, and energy conservation. This has gone hand-in-hand with a resurgence seen in green roofs for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, most notably those with flat roofing.
There are in fact several environmental and economic benefits that can be achieved from transforming a flat and often underutilized roof space into green roofing. These benefits would include:
- Environmental Benefits
- Reduced storm water run-off – less strain on drainage systems
- Moderation of temperatures – healthier living/working conditions
- Improved air quality – CO2 absorption reduces the carbon footprint
- Noise reduction – thickness of green roofing serves as a sound barrier
- Impact on biodiversity – sustaining a wider variety of plant and animal life
- Economic Benefits
- Reduced energy use/costs – through improvements in insulating properties
- Prolonged roof lifespan – as much as twice that of more conventional roofing
- Reduced maintenance and/or replacement costs – less strain on HVAC systems
- Enhanced aesthetic/curb appeal – can attract more commercial traffic or interest
- Increased property value – energy efficiencies can be appealing to tenants/buyers
Make Your Roof More Green with the Flat Roof Experts at Avenue Road Roofing
While it may initially seem that converting to green flat roofing would require substantial financial investment on the part of the property owner, there are actually several simple and reasonably affordable ways to realize many of the benefits noted above.
Such steps will typically require the services of a professional contractor with extensive green roofing and flat roofing experience, like Avenue Road Roofing in Toronto, for the following purposes:
- Inspect the structural integrity and weight-bearing capacity of the roof
- To perform any structural or performance upgrades and/or installations
Some of the specific actions that can be taken to make a roof ‘greener’ would include:
- Evaluating the attic ventilation – relative to prolonging roof life
- Assessing/upgrading attic insulation – tied to energy consumption
- Installing skylights or solar panels to capitalize on natural light/energy
- Constructing/installing a potted garden – for vegetables, plants, or bushes
- Creating a traditional soil-based garden for plants with shallow roots systems
- Redirecting gutter downspouts in order to capture rainwater in a barrel or tank
This emphasis on green flat roofing will continue to grow in the future, especially in large urban centres like Toronto where there is an ongoing need to combat ecological issues and provide a more appealing and sustainable environment for its residents and wildlife. Avenue Road Roofing is one of the leading companies behind Toronto’s green flat roofing revolution, so to speak, and is eager to collaborate with building and property owners on their green roof initiatives.
For more insight on green flat roofing initiatives and installations by Avenue Road Roofing, see green roofing
Interested in ways to make your flat roof more ‘green’? Call the green roofing experts at Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 or contact us to discuss how we can collaborate to meet your needs and those of our environment.