The rapid pace of urban development and stagnant laws and regulations often leave cities overcrowded, incredibly polluted, and prone to environmental disasters. That’s why in recent years, a global movement has emerged to make urban areas more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Besides solar energy, cities are adapting other resource-efficient measures such as installing artificial lawns for residences and commercial areas. Having this low maintenance alternative not only saves cities big money on manpower costs, but it also saves a lot of water day in and day out. The artificial lawn helps promote a healthier and more sustainable environment by conserving precious water resources, especially during the summer.
But, if you’re bent on getting your hands dirty, it’s interesting to note that one movement has been gaining traction —adding green roofs in residential buildings. Green roofs can protect residential buildings and help make your city greener in several ways.
Although urban areas boast magnificent feats of engineering, the systems helping them to operate smoothly have their disadvantages. For instance, during precipitation events, cities rely on their drainage systems to prevent flooding.
However, severe storms can overwhelm these structures, resulting in flooded and submerged streets. Fortunately, there are several solutions to this, and one of them is installing a green roof. Unlike conventional roofs that merely shed water, green roofs can absorb water, efficiently reducing some strain on drainage systems.
Plants require water to thrive, and green rooftops have a moisture absorption layer safely holding on to water during storms and heavy rains.
Can Cool the Air
Urban areas are usually hotter than rural areas since the concrete buildings and asphalt roads radiate more heat after soaking up sunlight. Plus, the exhaust from vehicles and air conditioners trap the remaining heat, making cities even hotter — and this phenomenon is called the “urban heat island effect.” During heat waves, this effect can have deadly consequences to the surroundings and its residents.
Studies have estimated that hundreds and thousands of people in the United States alone are expected to die in mega heat waves in the next decade. Luckily, there are several prevention methods, and one of the simplest yet effective strategies is installing green roofs. Green roofs replace dark surfaces with lighter vegetation that can reflect sunlight, cooling cities down.
Overall, green roofs can help make urban areas more climate-resilient — protecting residents most at-risk of heatwaves.
Enhances Food Security
Even though it’s a novel field, rooftop farming through green roofs is becoming more popular. When developed further, rooftop farms can help bolster a city’s food security by offering a steady supply of produce — all while improving the nutrition rates of city dwellers. Additionally, rooftop farms can also help protect the environment by reducing the ecological footprint of food.
That’s because they don’t need to be transported and refrigerated, which are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
Improves Air Quality
The foliage in green roofing can help decrease the dust in the air, effectively removing pollutants from the surrounding area. Plus, the vegetation can absorb carbon from the air, helping in mitigating climate change while improving the overall air quality in your home. This benefit can do wonders for the average city dweller’s health as they’re often exposed to heavy pollution throughout the day, making residences healthier one breath at a time.
Extends Roof Life
Roofs are susceptible to wear and tear. After all, they’re the ones responsible for keeping residences dry during the rainy months and cool during the summer. However, a green roof can prolong your existing roof as it protects it from excessive heat, winds, rain, and temperature fluctuations. Plus, green roofs generally last longer and are more environmentally friendly than traditional roofs, minimizing waste since they’ll need replacement less often.
Pollution is a common issue that residential buildings in busy cities experience, especially regarding drainage systems. As rain falls, the water usually gets saturated with pollutants, which go to rivers and lakes — eventually leading to drinking water contamination. Luckily, green roofs can protect residences by filtering rainwater, removing harmful toxins, and reducing the overall risk of drinking water contamination.
Green roofs can absorb sound vibrations, creating a quieter area for those using the building. In addition, having an efficient green roof can help provide a more comfortable and practical environment, offering noise attenuation, especially when it comes to low-frequency sounds. Overall, this benefit can help city dwellers enjoy their private spaces quietly.
Making new and existing buildings more environmentally friendly has become more crucial in recent years. As a result, building owners are constantly coming up with new ecological ideas to develop greener urban areas — and installing green roofs is one of many, providing the benefits mentioned and more.