Green Roofs | What Are Their Thermal Benefits?

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Sustainable Roofing - Green Roof

In the construction industry, and certainly within commercial roofing, we often discuss the key topics of the day, such as sustainability and energy efficiency. Such topics are particularly prevalent in the commercial sector, with businesses, schools and leisure facilities of all sizes determined to play their part in ensuring the buildings we all so greatly value remain sustainable. One form of sustainable roofing which is gaining increasing popularity is green roofing, also known as a living roof.

A roof covered with vegetation may initially seem an odd concept, but once you explore the benefits, in particular the thermal benefits, it becomes abundantly clear why green roofs should be considered for your commercial roofing project.

What are the environmental benefits of green roofs?

We’ve previously spoken about the environmental and cost benefits of green roofing and the oasis it can provide amongst (sometimes) dreary commercial properties, attracting beneficial insects, bees and birds. Air quality is also improved; vegetation naturally assists in reducing pollutants, which is much needed in our towns and cities, such as those within the areas we cover in London, Sussex and Surrey and throughout the South of England.

What are the thermal benefits of green roofing?

In the midst of an economic downturn, we’re all tightening our belts and our clients, ranging from places of worship to hospitals, are surely no different. Perhaps the key benefit of green roofing is a financial one.

Green roofing significantly increases thermal resistance value; vegetation naturally absorbs the sun’s energy, thus lowering the roof temperature and reducing the need for costly air conditioning during the sweltering summer months, such as those we’ve experienced in recent times. Grass and other such vegetation naturally reflect sunlight, as opposed to other roofing types, such as asphalt, which can absorb heat.

What are the insulating effects of green roofs?

Generally, the thermal benefits of a green roof are more pronounced in summer rather than the winter. However, in the colder months, green roofs can act as a natural form of insulation, locking in much-needed warmth and potentially reducing the scarily high heating bills we’re all facing.

The thermal mass of the natural vegetation helps to reduce heat-loss.  For insulating purposes, you should consider the type and density of vegetation used; shorter, denser vegetation is preferable.

Do green roofs protect my building?

In terms of building protection, green roofs help to relieve the load on your building’s drainage system by naturally reducing water run-off. With the almost biblical rainfall we’ve recently experienced, a green roof helps to both future-proof a building and can help to mitigate potential drainage issues. Green roofs also help to protect the integrity of the roofing below, creating a natural barrier, protecting your roof during all seasons.

Which roof types can you install green roofs on?

Green roofs, like nature itself, are incredibly versatile and can be installed on all manner of roofs, including flat and pitched. As a commercial roofing contractor with over 40 years’ experience, we’re well placed to offer our clients advice on roofing types and discuss your commercial roofing needs.

Maguire Brothers works with some of the leading names in the manufacture of green roofing products and we would be delighted to discuss your requirements. Offering commercial roofing advice to clients in London and the South of England, the team would be delighted to assist with your commercial roofing project.

This article, as with all other articles we produce, is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute formal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For bespoke, unbiased advice relating to your commercial roofing project please contact us and we would be pleased to assist.

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