Green Roofs help in many ways to sustain an efficient and diverse ecosystem. They provide major benefits such as reducing the urban heat island effect, storm water runoff, reducing the carbon footprint of the building, improving air quality and increasing the thermal performance of a building.
WIDOPAN can provide a full Green Roof service for your project – from specification to installation – in conjunction with Green Roofers Ltd.
What are Green Roofs? Green roofs are vegetated layers that sit on top of waterproofed roof surfaces of a building.
Green roofs come in many different forms and types, including extensive, intensive and biodiverse or brown roofs. These terms refer to the degree of maintenance the roofs require, and the level of vegetation that can be utilised.
Green roofs have been in existence for hundreds of years, with their roots traced back to Scandinavia where they were used to provide shelter from the elements in winter months, and to stay cool in the summer.
The modern principals of green roof design were heavily developed in Germany in the 1970’s with the intention of restoring the natural environment, and the added protection of roofing membranes.
Green roofing has evolved due to the ever-increasing need for green spaces within our cities, and because of their very wide range of environmental and economic benefits.
As can be highly visible, green roofs clearly signal the intent for sustainable building and provide a positive and bold image to a building or commercial development.
Biodiverse Green Roofs Biodiverse roofs are used primarily for their ecological benefits.
They contain a range of recycled materials including rubble, gravel, rubber, or logs to encourage habitation of wildlife such as bees, and small insects.
These are sometimes referred to as ‘brown roofs’.
They help to support the environment and can be seen to aid planning applications to help local authorities policies towards building a sustainable environment.
Intensive Green Roofs Intensive green roofs are intended to replicate what can typically be found at ground level in the natural landscape, and in green spaces such as parks or cultivated gardens.
Intensive green roofs involve intense landscaping and are suited to roofs with a highly visible presence or public access, and commonly referred as a ‘roof garden’.
Choices include shrubs, native forbs and grasses, larger perennials, tropical, non-native vegetation.
Extensive Green Roofs Extensive green roofs provide a light-weight, low maintenance, instant ‘green effect’ roof solution.
Extensive green roofs are not usually intended for general public access and are chosen mostly for their ecological benefits.
Typically, extensive roofs use a Sedum vegetation due to its ability to flourish in harsh environments, cost effective, and lightweight system requirements.
Extensive green roofs can be designed into new buildings, or ‘retro-fitted’ onto existing buildings.
Semi-Intensive Green Roofs Semi-intensive green roof systems include a richer, deeper substrate and drainage solution compared to extensive roofs, enabling use of a wider range of complex plant mixtures.
Semi-intensive roofs are generally used within highly visible areas to improve aesthetic design using small shrubs, forbs, and grasses.
They require a higher level of maintenance compared to extensive roofs, due to the vegetation, and substrates used.
Provision of Green & Amenity Space – Green roofs provide much needed green space within our rapidly growing urban environment to help soften built up areas and contribute ecological function.
Improved Air Quality – Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, refreshing the surrounding air.
They also absorb harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide within the atmosphere and help break down noxious gas emitted from vehicles or industrial activities.
Habitat Space for Wildlife – Green roofs provide a rich habitat for small insects and invertebrates to breed within an urban environment.
Increase Solar Panel/PV Efficiency – Green roofs help to maintain the efficiency of solar panel systems by keeping PV panels cool and help to maintain an ambient temperature of 25 ℃ needed for maximum energy absorption.
Enhances Aesthetics – Green roofs offer aesthetic quality and human dimension to the urban design for creation of a more pleasant cityscape, enhancing the visual interest of the city scene and vibrancy of the city life.
“WIDOPAN waterproofing membranes are certified root resistent and impervious to ponding water.”
The best waterproofing solution for your Green Roof WIDOPAN liquid waterproofing systems are ideally suited for green roofs as they provide a strong and durable seal without any additional weight loading to the roof.
Our cold applied systems are rainproof in as little as 15 minutes, meaning the green roof installation can get underway without long delays.
Cured membranes are certified root resistant and impervious to ponding water, meaning the foundations to your green roof are protected for years to come.
Storm Water Management – A green roof can hold up to 80% of storm water runoff, to help prevent flooding and lessen the impact on city drainage structures. Increased Roof Lifespan – Studies have shown that a green roof can increase a roofs average lifespan by up to 3 times.
Reduction of Energy Usage – Green roofs offer cooling temperature control in hot summer months, reducing the demand for airconditioning, and studies have shown in winter heating bills can be reduced by over 10%.
Noise Reduction – A combination of the substrate, vegetation, and air locked within the green roof system acts as sound insulation, with tests showing reduction in noise of up to 50dB.
Heat Island Effect – Urban areas have a high temperature average compared to rural areas due to the lack of green space. Vegetation from green roofs improves microclimate by absorbing heat and reducing the temperature of hard surface and enhancing the humidity.
Government & District Incentives – Many cities and districts such as London offer grants or incentives when using a green roof solution.