What is a Green Roof?

A Green Roof Provides a Wide Range of Economic and Environmental Benefits

Green RoofIn recent years, several major cities across North America have made concerted effort to escalate and even financially support the installation of green roofing in their respective urban landscapes. This includes the City of Toronto, which instituted a by-law in January 2010 that required the incorporation of a green roof on any new multi-level construction projects with floor areas of at least 2,000 square meters; and for any qualifying buildings that were in place prior to 2010, Toronto implemented a grant program to support green roofing conversions, the Eco-Roof Incentive Program, which offers these property owners $75.00 per square metre of roof space up to a maximum of $100,000.00.

So, what is a green roof? It is principally a rooftop garden system installed on structures that have a flat roof surface; these can include commercial, industrial, institutional, and multi-story residential properties. Sometimes called a living roof, a green roof consists of vegetation planted in a growing medium that is spread over a waterproof membrane.

There are fundamentally three types of green rooftop gardens that certified roofers such as Avenue Road Roofing can install on Toronto structures; specifically, these are:

  • Extensive Green Roof
    • Depth is usually two to five inches
    • Vegetation is primary herbs and mosses
    • Installation and maintenance costs are low
  • Semi-Intensive Green Roof
    • Depth is usually five to eight inches
    • Vegetation might consist of herbs, perennials, grasses, or small shrubs
    • Installation and maintenance costs are considered moderate
  • Intensive Green Roof
    • Depth can range from eight to 30 inches
    • Vegetation: perennials, small shrubs/trees, sodded areas, putting greens, etc.
    • Installation and maintenance costs are customarily the highest with this format

It is generally accepted that green roofing provides several economic and environmental benefits to local residents, property owners, and wildlife, as well as to municipalities as a whole; some of the more commonly recognized contributions by a green roof would be:

  • Better air quality indexes
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Reduced storm water run-off
  • Effective temperature moderation
  • More efficient use of existing space
  • Sustained biodiversity (plants/birds)
  • Enriched curb appeal/property values
  • Healthier living and working environments
  • Sound absorption (noise reducing properties)
  • Lower roofing costs (less upkeep; extended life)

Despite this impressive list of benefits however, it is important to keep in mind that the installation of a green roof is somewhat more complex than merely planting a vegetable garden or flower garden at ground level. Regardless of the type/depth of the green roof, it will undoubtedly add some weight to the roof structure; furthermore, the waterproof membrane and drainage system must be installed in the appropriate fashion to ensure adequate protection of the building and its occupants against water-related damage.

Therefore, whether the plan is to install green roofing on an existing structure or as part of any future construction projects, Toronto property owners/managers would be wise to consult with roofers who are knowledgeable and skilled in both flat roof installations and in the construction of green roofs; one local contractor that meets such criteria is Avenue Road Roofing, a leader within the roofing industry in Toronto for more than 40 years.

Green Roof Installations and Maintenance by Experienced Roofers in Toronto

Green Roof Installation and MaintenanceThe green roofing specialists at Avenue Road Roofing can provide invaluable support to Toronto property owners in the design and construction of any rooftop garden; the skills and expertise of these experts spans all aspects of green roof installations, including:

  • Assessment of roof structure integrity
  • Removal of any existing roofing material
  • Design and integration of the drainage system
  • Correct installation of the waterproof membrane
  • Layering the growing medium; planting the vegetation

Moreover, once the green roofing is in place, it will require comprehensive inspections on a regular basis, along with immediate attention to maintenance needs if/as they arise, as a means of ensuring its optimal long-term performance. To that end, the professionals from Avenue Road Roofing in Toronto can be enlisted to provide such vital services as:

  • Cleaning all gutters and drains
  • Inspection of caulking, seals, seams
  • Damage assessment (wind, water, sun)
  • Appropriate removal and disposal of snow/ice

Visit to learn more about the installation of green roof initiatives by the experience roofers at Avenue Road Roofing in Toronto.

Take advantage of the many economic benefits of green roofing while contributing to the environment in and around the City of Toronto. Call the green roof construction experts at Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 or contact us to book a no-obligation consultation about the green roof design that best suits your specific building/property.