Green roofs have the ability to not only act as a means of shelter for those who reside within the house; but they also have the ability to generate multiple environmental benefits. At a time when environmental preservation is so crucial, increasing the number of green roofs would assist in the conservation of the natural environment.
One benefits provided by green roofs is that they can moderate building temperatures. This lowers the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building, and also saves its users money in energy bills. Although the results may vary according to the building’s size, there are still major benefits from this practice. A simulation ran in Environment Canada found that “a typical one-story building with a grass roof and 3.9 inches of growing medium would result in a 25% reduction in summer cooling needs”.
Another interesting and significant benefit of green roofs is the fact that they reduce and filter storm water runoff. A current problem is that “many older cities have combined sanitary and storm sewers, whose treatment capacity can be overwhelmed by heavy precipitation, resulting in pollution of waterways with untreated water”. A solution for this can be green roofs. They capture and temporarily store storm water; thus reducing the run-off volumes and reducing sewer overflow events. Green roofs also act as a filter for storm water and improve its quality. Due to the fact that these roofs act as a filter, they reduce the amount of pollutants that flow into the municipal storm water system.
With these ideas in mind, it is clear that green roofs have essential environmental benefits. They allow us to use less energy as well as reduce pollution levels in water systems. The more green roofs there are, the healthier the environment gets. I hope that one day these roofs become standardized for large corporations that have had high levels of pollution.