7 Benefits of Green Roof in Eco Friendly Structures


Date: 28-August,2019Last Updated: 7-July,2021
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Green Roofs have become a popular sighting in the major metro cities of the world, thus becoming an important component in sustainable development. The benefits of Green roof especially its economical and ecological advantages have made them a prevalent architectural design in commercial and residential structures.

"Go green" is a trending movement because of which the concept of green building is gaining prominence in cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. State governments are also coming up with a green building codes, which will make it imperative to include features like rain water harvesting for water conservation, vegetation etc. which would increase the demand for these structures.

Green roofs became popular in Germany after World War II when urban ecologist was trying to figure out how they could build cities ravaged by wars. At that time, most roofs were covered in sand to provide protection from fire which gradually evolved into vegetative roofs.

In the 1970s people started to realize that these roofs have a lot of environmental benefits including managing rainwater and promoting greenery. In the early 1980s, authorities started encouraging these structures to promote balance and help the environment. That is how they gained prominence.

Green rooftops are becoming a regular feature especially in premium apartments that fetch a price between Rs 75 lakh to 1 crore. Especially in warmer countries like India, a well-irrigated green roof can provide greater energy savings thus making a valuable contribution to help the environment.

Two types of Green terraces Extensive and Intensive.

1. Intensive Green Ceilings are aptly named because they require regular irrigation and landscaping.

2. Extensive Roofs on the other hand are designed to be self-supporting and require little or no maintenance. Intensive roofs are designed to be available to the public while extensive roofs are closed for public use.

This system is built on the existing roof which has the following components:

Water-proofing, Root repellent system, Drainage system, Filter cloth, A lightweight growing medium, and plants.

Green roof systems may be modular, with drainage layers, filter cloth, growing media, and plants already installed in movable, often interlocking grids, or loose laid/built-up components whereby each section of the system is installed separately. Green roof development involves the creation of green space over a man made structure.

Green ceilings aren't maintenance free and often requires frequent irrigation and periodic trimming, weeding, usage of fertilizers etc.

A building is cooled considerably if regular irrigation takes place on the green structure. It is important to identify a sustainable water source such as waste water that has been treated so that the structure can be irrigated without wasting the fresh water available to the occupants of the building.

These structures are a wise investment for the future and will become common soon with the trends turning in favour of sustainable living. The advantages of these structures are manifold which is turning the tide in favour of sustainable living and creating eco-friendly houses.

Benefits of Green roofs

1. Improves the drainage system

Sustainable drainage is an important component of any building, to tackle flooding in areas with excessive rainfall. A network of pipes connected to the sewage system helps the collection of water.Water is stored in plants before being released into the environment which reduces the risk of flooding and recharges the water table gradually.

2. Purification of Rainwater

It also includes benefits of Green roofs such as promoting natural bio-filtration and prevention of polluted water from reaching water bodies. The substrate in the green roofs absorbs 95% of lead, copper sulphide and cadmium and 19% of zinc to improve the water quality considerably.

3. Increase the life span of the Rooftop

These structures double or even triple the life span of a roof. The barrier of greenery helps protect the waterproof membrane and ensures that the life span lasts longer than the usual time.

4. Enhancement of Thermal Performance

One of the most important benefits of green roof are thermal performance and it’s staggering how much of a difference this can create an eco-friendly house. One of the biggest problems facing a typical roof is poor insulation leading to a substantial amount of heat loss in winters, while resulting in extreme heated conditions in summers.

A green ceiling is a one-stop solution for all such problems. Plants absorb the sun’s energy and therefore cool the roof in summer while aiding thermal efficiency in the colder months by trapping heat inside.

5. Green Roof Benefits : Energy Efficiency

Green ceilings : Help to reduce energy consumption by 40% in summers and a stunning 100% in winters. Several factors like type of construction, thickness of insulation and climatic conditions determine the energy efficiency of these structures.

Noise reduction : A green ceiling provides good sound insulation thus reducing the noise pollution in the living spaces. In places like airports and industrial areas this will particularly play an important role.

Helping out the environment:These structures reduce the need for air conditioning while ensuring that much less heat is needed to warm up the surroundings during winters. Both air conditioning and heat generation increases the concentration of carbon dioxide.

6. Beneficial for Wildlife habitats

Green ceilings support a healthy habitat thus supporting wildlife. These structures are perfect for attracting birds and other wildlife to create an eco-friendly habitat. The vegetation that is growing on these structures will attract a variety of wildlife and help the environment.

7. Improving Air Quality

Air pollution remains an important issue in India killing 2.4 million every year. It is a menace in urban areas, especially the larger cities such as Bangalore and Delhi.

A green roof greatly improves the air quality. These structures help to reduce

  • 0.2 kg of dust particles / square metre each year.
  • 37% of sulphur dioxide
  • 21% of nitrous acid

Scientific research must be made to expand our knowledge about green roofs to steer urban design and development to help the environment. Architecture and engineering problems have hampered the growth of this idea. The present trend is in the direction of landscape ecology and biodiversity to promote sustainable living and energy conservation.

We see an emerging marriage between city planning and nature as and when the technology for green roofs will see improvement. We must acknowledge that the future technology has already seen the light of the day and is set to become the backbone of sustainable living. Thus incorporating the green roof benefits for one and all across the world!

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