Monday, July 30, 2012

Benefits of Green Roofs

Green roofs provide a wide range of benefits, perhaps the most widely known is the fact that they significantly reduce energy demand and the cost of interior cooling. However, green roofs offer a wide range of benefits that extend beyond sustainability and cost savings. In addition to contributing to the comfort of those who reside inside such buildings, green roofs provide immense quality of life benefits outdoors.

Green roofs reduce energy and costs by insulating the buildings interior from the heating effects of the sun, the deeper the soil the greater the protective effect. On the hottest days, the temperature difference inside buildings with a green roof can be as great as 5 or 6 degrees.

There is also a profound psychological benefits for those who enjoy the roofs verdant surface. Biodiverse green spaces are increasingly being recognized as a vital part of a healthy urban landscapes. As reported in Scientific American, research suggest that green spaces make us feel good, they are also places for reflection, and as such, restorative environments.

Additional benefits extend out into our communities and our economy. As covered by Planet Save, Steven Peck from the organization "Green Roofs for Healthy Cities", cites ten benefits of green roofs:

1. Job Creation: Adding green roofs to 1 percent of US buildings would cost $9 billion and create 190,000 jobs.”
2. Reduce Crime: Increased urban greenery reduces crime.
3. Increased Property Values: Even nearby buildings by 11 percent.
4. Protect Roofs: Longevity can be increased by 25-60 years (double normal roofs life span).
5. Reduce Noise Pollution: Green roofs insulate against sound.

6.. Make Rooftop Solar More Efficient: Rooftop solar efficiency is increased by 5-25 percent. 7.. Make Rain Cleaner: Reduce acidity in rain.
8. Increase Biodiversity: Birds, bees, butterflies, wasps, and beetles, if they include native plants.” 8.
9. Save Energy: “reduce solar gain by 84 percent, and reduce energy use by 6 percent in the summer and around 1 percent in the winter.”
10. Health and Productivity Benefits.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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