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What is a Green Roof?

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Cities can run up to 10 degrees hotter than surrounding areas because all the built surfaces absorb so much heat. How can we make cities more like the countryside while promoting #sustainability?

Following on from our Flat Roof Insulation blog. We are going to explore the pros of installing an Eco/Green roof to your property.

Green roofs benefit buildings in multiple ways. Installing an green roof creates natural irrigation for absorbing rainwater and improves #insulation. The roof also creates a habitat for wildlife, increasing mental wellbeing and decreasing stress levels to all, by providing a more pleasing landscape. Helping to lower urban air temperatures and alleviate the heat island effect.

An eco/green roof is a type of living roof. Once insulation and a waterproof and durable roof membrane are applied to your roof deck, a layer of vegetation is rolled out over the top. This acts as a ballast, to prevent the roof from moving and keep it weighted down.

Installation will protect your roof from UV rays and acidic rain, thus prolonging its natural life.

Improve Your Flat Roof Insulation

Installing a green roof is a great way to boost thermal insulation, reduce energy consumption and save cash at the same time. They have a regulatory effect when it comes to heating (and cooling) cycles. Green roofs improve and reduce energy consumption and are great for keeping temperatures cool in the summertime and warm in the winter.

With traditional roofing, large fluctuations in the indoor temperature can occur. In the summer, the building warms up because a grey roof absorbs heat from the sun. Vegetation reflects most direct sunlight rather than absorbing it. Meaning the moisture present gets evaporated, providing further cooling.

Green Roof Heat Gain - Summertime

Up to 84% Less Heat Gain than a Conventional Roof. Heat gain – the increase in building temperature due to solar radiation and high outdoor temperatures – is significantly lower on green roofs than black roofs. The 84% disparity in heat gain provide exceptional energy savings throughout all seasons.

Green Roof Heat Loss - Winter

Up to 34% Reduction in winter heat loss compared to conventional roofs. Whilst a living roof’s innate ability to retain heat in the cold make it a great winter insulator, they’re more effective in summer months.

Which, considering air conditioning sales across Europe are rising rapidly, is a very useful trait to have.

The extra layer of insulation can also absorb up to 30% of environmental noise pollution. Essentially, sound waves are either absorbed or reflected. So you can get on with work from home, free from distractions, or sleep more peacefully in your bed at night.

Increase Your Property Rating

If you want a sustainable/eco home or to improve your building’s rating with BREEAM, a green/eco roof is a great starting point. Choose plants that are native to your local geographic area and you are sure to find favour with the local planning department. Many local authorities favour planning proposals that incorporate eco roofs.

Promote Biodiversity

A green/eco roof helps to boost biodiversity by attracting and supporting wildlife.

Create and promote a natural habitat with a living roof. #sedum and #greenroofs create a local ecology in which the vegetation will establish itself and begin providing homes for smaller elements of wildlife.

They also play an import part in helping to conserve species that may be vulnerable in the surrounding urban landscape. With appropriate design, plant selection and installation of habitat components, green roofs can support a large variety of plant and animal species. The fact that many green roofs may be inaccessible to the general public can benefit conservation objectives.

Extra features such as bird baths and beehives can be added to boost the roof’s ecological impact. Eco/green roofs also serve as a green wall, filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, helping to lower rates of diseases such as asthma.

Find out more about how to find your local installer or have a read about the other ways to help Reduce heat loss in your home with a few handy hints and quick wins.

While you're here, why not take a look at the insulation measures ESW Insulation have to offer:

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