A Growing Trend
The urban landscape is shifting toward a more natural face. Plant life is being introduced in the central and downtown areas of cities all over the country in the name of sustainability. Although this is primarily an aesthetic trend, it has a significant impact on environmental degradation when applied to large buildings with massive energy needs.
It’s efficient, then, for an office building, but what about a typical American home? A roofing contractor or green building professional can help you quantify the costs and determine if there’s an actual benefit. It’s important to remember that green roof options mainly impact larger buildings and multi-family homes.
While the positive impact of eco-friendly home options may not be as environmentally sound as advertised, there is truth at the core of these claims. Green roofs usually cost twice as much as asphalt tiling, but they tend to last longer. On top of this, the significant reduction in heat loss lowers HVAC use, which both conserves energy and benefits the environment. Eco-sustainable roofs have also been shown to have a positive impact on noise reduction, fire retardation, and air quality. The industry also benefits because these options open a new client base to your local roofing contractor. However, it should be noted that, for most single-family homes, the level of emissions from processing the materials does not outweigh the energy saved, though it may still be cost-effective for the homeowner.
A Functional Design
Studies have encouraged the shift toward eco-friendly building in urban environments and multi-family homes because of the significant impact on the environment. Sustainability can often stretch further than the dollar; an often unmentioned benefit of a green roof is that the plant life growing there can be incorporated back into the budget of the home or building owner. Discussing your plans with a roofing contractor ahead of time allows you to use the natural growth for farming purposes, maintaining a feasible garden without using any land.
An urban garden atop a multi-family home or even apartment building can have socio-economic and infrastructure benefits. As a result, if the green trend continues to grow, we may see a greener community in the cities of the future.