10 Ways that Green Roof Systems can Benefit Big Cities

10 Ways that Green Roof Systems can Benefit Big Cities

Article by Moreira Filho – We explore green roof systems and look at how they can benefit big cities, choosing key examples of how it has already worked. Green roof systems come to landscape architecture as one of the solutions to make up for concrete spaces of big cities nowadays. But, how useful is it? Some people say these green systems are expensive and difficult to install. Let’s think about it; brick houses used to be expensive in the past. Nowadays they are more accessible for lots of people. TVs, computers, smartphones are normally expensive when they are starting into the market, but they become cheaper as more people acquire them. Why would it not be the same with green roof systems? Here we found 10 reasons and benefits to put some green on our roofs.

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Get Green Roof Construction: The Essential Guide, by signing up to our VIP Club HERE!

Green Roof Systems

1. New Green Areas: Let’s Paint the Grey Landscapes Green

In lots of countries, big cities are synonyms of concrete, pollution and grey color as consequences of dense urbanization. There is no space for vegetation and when it exists, it brings some shadows, attracting violence because of bad public management. Certainly, this is a matter for public administration and politics. But, how it would be if we could take some vacant places –like full satellite-filled antenna roofs, for example – and change them into pocket parks or even a beautiful garden?

And open it to the public?

You are smiling, aren’t you? Because this idea of new green areas in the city brings lots of ancient memories of prosperity; greenness means we have water, food, calmness and peace. Green roofs helps in the balance between concrete and vegetation areas. Take a look at the link and see how a shopping mall in Rotterdam, Netherlands, has used this system correctly. Now you know; lack of green areas? Put green roofs systems on them.

Roofpark Vierhavenstrip

© Roof Park Rotterdam. Preliminary Design by Buro Sant en Co—overview water stairs

2. Less Carbon Dioxide Trees and other vegetation help the transpiration and the exchange of gases between earth and the atmosphere. Increasing green areas means less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a reduction of greenhouse effects and urban heat island effects. We can have vegetation uses like the examples in our article Top 10 Plants for an Extensive Green Roof.
green roof systems

Sedum sarmentosum. Photo credit: 영철 이 via Flickr. Licensed under CC 2.0

3. Air Humidity

Atmospheric rivers are flowing over our heads all the time. Forests are responsible for more than half of these vapor rivers, because they precipitate more than the ocean. So, why not give a hand to the Nature in this way? After all, cities and plantations take lots of lands. We can soften environmental impacts of human intervention into the landscape.

4. Thermal and Acoustic Insulation. 

Environmental conditions inside a building tend to be more pleasant when you have green covering it. Since ancient caves, passing through Babylon and old Swedish Viking houses, human beings know that natural solutions are able to give comfort for living. The soil layer over a roof stops heat and sound waves, blocking them from entering the building. In 2005 at the University of Toronto, a research study was developed by Brad Bass, where he found that green roofs can even reduce the energy consumption of buildings in winter conditions.

green roof systems

Chicago Green Roof. Photo credit: Cook and Jenshel NG Creative

5. Ecosystem

Parks and squares with gardens and nature, always attract biodiversity. Birds, butterflies, bees, and other little friends can stand in the cities. Researchers say the contact with nature reduces stress and increases life quality. If we could balance and coexist with Nature, we could find the Paradise craved by the religions all over the world.

6. An Intelligent way to Promote a Business

In some cases, green roof systems could be supported by some companies, businesspeople, markets, etc. They could maintain the place and use them as a marketing announcement. Very well-regarded by consumers!

7 Status

Buildings and houses with a green roof system gain more in value over time. Brokers often say that houses with gardens are more attractive to their clients than houses without them. And they are also more expensive. It indicates that greenness aggregates more value to any building. It can be useful for historic restorations and can be included in situate areas, as this good example in a historical residence in Porto, Portugal

green roof systems

DM2 Housing Project by OODA architects.

8. Reducing of Floods

In some countries where it rains a lot, floods are terrible problems – bad urban design added a thick layer of concrete, spread on the ground, waterproofing it. Gardens built on the top buildings are able to slow the rainwater flows, increasing the permeability and helping to reduce floods.

9. Better than a Conventional Roof

When properly installed, green roofs have greater durability than conventional roofs, they reduce the direct exposure of the elements to the structure, including humidity, and they obey even more stringent standards of impermeability than conventional types of roofs, based on tiles or conventional materials.

10. Economy of Water

A well-designed green roof system allows rainwater capture. Roots, sand, bricks and other draining objects are able to filter water that can be stored, conserving and economizing water as a result. Sustainability is the word to describe green roofs. Although they are a little bit more expensive than conventional roofs, the benefits are higher than disadvantages and make other costs become cheaper – as in economy of water, for example.

Solving Environmental Problems

Green roof systems are not the only way to solve environmental problems, of course. We must take lots of actions, basic ones and big ones. It is all like a puzzle where green roof systems are just one piece of the solution. Do you know how to install a green roof system? To download our eBook on Green Roof Construction join the Landscape Architects Network VIP Club by clicking HERE! Article by Moreira Filho

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