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What do I need to know about Green roofs?

By Bob Warthman Subscribe to RSS | November 28th 2011 | Views:
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A green roof is an extension of a new or existing roof that has a drainage system, a filter cloth, high-quality waterproofing and root-repellent system, a lightweight growing medium and plants.

Drainage layers, filter cloths and growing plants may already be arranged in movable, interlocking grids in green roof systems. Or at times each component is installed individually. Green-roof development involves the creation of "contained" green space on top of a building.

No single kind of green roof works for all buildings, climates and client needs. Therefore no person will have the indentical garden roof as another. Based on the depth of growing medium, garden roofs are categorized as "intensive" or "extensive".

If there is less than 6 inches of growing medium then the roof is counted as extensive. It also has lower weight, plant diversity, costs and maintenance.

An intensive roof (with more than 6 inches of growing medium) tends to have greater plant diversity, as well as higher weight, costs and maintenance.

Green roofs can save you money on heating and cooling. The size of the building, the climate and the type of living roof will affect results. Typically a 6 inch extensive roof reduced heat losses by 26% and heat gains by 95% in comparison to a conventional roof.

Green roofs temporarily store water so a green roof can reduce excessive volumes and reduce drain overflow. By lowering peak flows, living roofs also can minimize flooding and erosion damage to buildings.

Some green roofs can provide provisions for wildlife, although they are not intended to be replacements for true natural areas. Within the urban setting they can complement wildlife habitats. Green roofs could represent island habitats or, better yet, stepping stones for wildlife movement in highly populated areas. Even in densely populated areas, green roofs can attract birds and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies.

If fruit and vegetables were grown on your roof it would be helpful to our pockets as well as our carbon footprints: you would not need to get your car out to go to the shop so often.

The efficiency of crystalline silicon-based solar photovoltaic panels reduces as temperatures increase. A green roof reduces the roof's surrounding temperature and can boost solar-panel efficiency, and the amount of power they bring about. Solar panels will also help protect the green roof from wind damage..

Installation of the living roof is not time consuming nor very costly: the experts will lay a single ply roofing membrane down to stop water penetrating your home, then it is all down to you.

Bob Warthman - About Author:
For more info on how installing a green roof can save you money, please visit www.icb.uk.com

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