Green roofs are a wonderful manner in which a building or a home can be kept cool. It also provides an additional carbon dioxide magnet to the underutilized space on the roof. A simple definition of a green roof is a roof that is covered with greenery and vegetation. When a green roof is constructed, a layer of water proof membrane is put in place first in order to prevent moisture, water and soil from entering the inside of the house or building. A building with a green roof is a part of the local ecosystem as well.
There are basically two types of green roofs. They are the intensive green roof and the extensive green roof. In case of an intensive green roof, the soil depth should be at least 12 inches or even more. A structural support has to be incorporated inside the building to support the green roof.
In case of an extensive green roof, the depth of the soil must be about two to four inches. This kind of green roofing can be done on existing roofs as well. Whether an intensive or extensive green roof, it is necessary to take the help of a qualified architect or green roof specialist who can help to install the roof. It is always essential to use the best quality water proof membrane as it functions as the first layer of protection and insulation between the plants on the roof and the material with which the roof is made.
A good drainage system would ensure that the soil remains intact and in place. Excess rainwater can be stored in tanks and can be utilized to either to water the plants on the green roof or in the bathrooms. It is also essential to use good quality soil for the green roof. The soil must be able to support indigenous vegetation. One can grow grass, flowers or even have a vegetable garden on the green roof.
A green roof has various advantages. The green roof insulates the home and protects the roof from being directly exposed to sunlight and heat as well as the cold. This living roof absorbs the sun’s heat before it reaches the roof. Therefore the surface of the roof does not transfer the heat into the inside of the building or house. The plants provide shade; reduce the roof temperature as well as the temperature outside the house thus reducing urban heat island effects. It serves to enhance the quality of air as well and also serves to save rainwater which otherwise would have disappeared down the drain.