Spring is finally here! It’s gardening season and we thought we’d talk about garden roofs and commercial buildings. Garden roofs are one of the many innovative ways people and businesses are combating high energy costs and striving to maintain more efficient and sustainable buildings. A garden roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with live vegetation, such as grass and plants. Also known as “living roofs”, garden roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, and helping to lower urban air temperatures to reduce the heat island effect.
Green roofs clearly benefit the environment, but what about commercial property owners considering installing them for their businesses? Green roofs can extend the life of a roof and also reduce heating and cooling costs, since the garden above is, at minimum, an additional layer of cooling insulation. Still, they are at least 40% more expensive to install, at least for now.
As green roofs gain in popularity, the materials will become cheaper to produce and more widely available. Cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and more recently, New York have begun installing green roofs on municipal buildings and encouraging local retailers to do the same. As the network of green roofs continues to grow, the benefits increase exponentially.