Germantown Roofing: Article About The New Wave Of Green Roofs
According to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the total square footage of green roofs increased by almost 30 percent in 2010. The term "green roof" applies here not to environmental friendliness but to growing actual greenery on top of a roof. Some cities, including Chicago, offer incentives to builders who put green roofs on top of their buildings.
The trend is not limited to swanky garden restaurants on top of commercial buildings or hotels, residential homeowners are getting in on the act, too. Urbanites are turning to rooftop gardens as a way of increasing their land space. According to Natural Home & Garden, many people are making the move toward urban agriculture.
Is going green a good idea for Germantown roofing? The answer appears to be yes. Rooftop vegetation absorbs rain water and helps regulate temperatures. It is the latter benefit that is getting cities like Chicago, Atlanta, and Portland so excited.
By soaking up and then radiating the Sun's heat, a traditional roof on an urban building can increase in temperature by as much as seven degrees Fahrenheit. The roof atop Chicago City Hall, which harbors a green roof, can be up to eight degrees Fahrenheit cooler than neighboring rooftops.
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This has been named the urban heat-island effect. If all the rooftops in a city were green, experts estimate that temperatures of entire cities could come down by seven degrees Fahrenheit.
Vegetated roofs have a role to play in managing storm water runoff, too. Scientists have demonstrated that a green roof can retain as much as 75 percent of rainwater, releasing it gradually back into the environment as transpiration and condensation, while pollutants are retained in the growth medium. This effect may reduce the need for costly urban sand filters.
The concept of a green roof isn't new. Scandinavian people have been building homes this way for hundreds of years. The idea began to really take off in Germany during the 1960s, and Europe has been growing increasingly enthusiastic ever since.
Before joining the green revolution, homeowners are advised to consult a structural engineer as the first step. Not only does a structure have to take on the added weight of the growth medium and its associated infrastructure, allowances have to be made for a substantial weight of retained rain water.
Green roofs provide a habitat for insects and birds. They also offer an opportunity to plant bee-friendly flowers and shrubs to help protect dwindling populations of these important insects.