Raising The Roof: Why Not Go Green?

08/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Green roofs are fast becoming the preferred method to green one's lifestyle according to bloggers. The rapidly sprouting initiative enables gardeners to avoid the urban heat island effect and greenify their homes.

greening your roof
might be as simple of an action as putting some potted plants up top, believe it or not, a new culture is spreading where people use proven technology and techniques to install sophisticated soil and water draining systems on building tops. One building even has a lake on top! [...]

While making green roofs can produce new habitat for numerous animals such as birds, small rodents, and insects, they can also provide real benefits for the people who live and work underneath. They can reduce heating and cooling costs for homes, provide new garden space for growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and also help to relieve pressure on sewer systems by absorbing rainfall.

Green roofs provide efficient and widespread environmental benefits.

First, a green roof provides extra insulation and energy efficiency for your home. The vegetation and added soil layer on the roof keeps a home (or commercial building) cooler in the summer than does a standard roof. According to the EPA, on hot summer days, the surface temperature of a vegetated rooftop can be cooler than the air temperature, whereas the surface of a traditional rooftop can be up to 90°F (50°C) warmer. In addition to cooling your building, they also serve to cool the area surrounding the building. This can reduce the "heat island" effect, which is when dense urban areas are hotter than surrounding areas of similar climate due to the heat generated by pavement, buildings and rooftops.

There are additional environmental benefits to green roofs:

* They collect and process rain water and keep large amounts of polluted runoff from heading into our rivers, lakes and oceans;
* They absorb air pollution, take polluted particulate out of the air, and sequester carbon;
* They can provide habitats for birds and other animals;
* They reduce noise pollution reaching the inside of the building;
* If you have access to your roof and it is flat, a green roof can provide a whole new "garden" for you to enjoy.

Japanese green roofs mimic a mountain.

More on green living from the Huffington Post.


More on the environment from the Huffington Post.

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