A green roof is a living roof, it is substituting tiles or slate for flowers or sedums. It is replacing a manmade desert for an area humming with biodiversity and life. Although green roofs are not always appropriate when trying to get a building to blend in with local vernacular architecture, they often help a building to sit softly into the landscape. People also perceive that green roofs can’t last as long as conventional roofs, this is a fallacy, green roofs can last up to double the length of time as conventional roofing materials. France has just passed a law saying all new commercial buildings have to either be green roofs or have solar panels as a roofing material.
So to summise the advantages of green roofs are:
- Effective shelter
- Reduce the amount of storm water runoff (important in cities)
- Provide some insulation from heat and cold
- Increase biodiversity
Recently on a trip to Norway I was amazed at the amount of thriving living roofs they have on there buildings, some even had trees growing out of them! Look at some of the pictures that I took when out there and appreciate how the building sit within some stunning landscapes. The first picture serves as a very good comparison between the two different roof types.
We at Red Kite often design buildings that have green roofs on them, we feel that it often works well visually with the use of natural materials. But it also helps reduce the loss of biodiversity that a building usually causes for an area. Lastly it is a lot easier to build and can be cheaper for the client, so great news all round! Please contact us if you want me information on green roofs.