Aside from the money-saving benefits mentioned previously, green roofs provide a number of other advantages. The most obvious of these is their positive impact on the environment. When we build houses, some of the land and vegetation is displaced, destroyed or removed all together. Obviously, we can't grow trees on top of our homes to offset this loss, but a green roof may not be out of the question.
If you live in a city, you may be familiar with the urban heat island effect. Cities are full of large buildings, metal, concrete and asphalt. All of these things absorb large amounts of heat. As a result, the temperature in a city can be much higher than that of the surrounding countryside. Green roofs can actually lower the temperature and create a more comfortable environment within a city's limits [source: Green Grid Roofs].
Another serendipitous byproduct of green roofs is noise reduction [source: Hydrotech USA]. That's right. Green roofs can actually help dampen sound from outside your house and keep sound that's inside from getting out. You'll be able to play your music louder without bothering your neighbors. This might seem unnecessary in a more rural setting, but in a city, it can be incredibly advantageous, blocking out the sound of traffic and sirens.
Green roofs can also help to improve air quality. Plants literally purify the surrounding air through their natural processes. Think of it like a water filtration system. In fact, speaking of water, green roofs filter that, too. The vegetation on a green roof helps absorb pollutants from rainwater before it evaporates back into the atmosphere.
The benefits of green roofs are numerous, both financially and beneficially. While much of Europe is enchanted with lush rooftops, other parts of the world are just starting to latch on to the idea.
For more information about green roofs and related information, check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Chattanoogan, The. "Plow Building to Get Green Roof." (Accessed 03/02/2009) http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_144960.asp
- Green Grid. "Green Roof Benefits." (Accessed 03/01/2009)http://www.greengridroofs.com/advantages/greenroofben/index.htm
- Greenroofs. "Economic" (Accessed 03/01/2009)http://www.greenroofs.com/Greenroofs101/economic.htm
- Hydrotech. "Green Roof Benefits." (Accessed 03/01/2009)http://www.hydrotechusa.com/benefits.htm
- Merriam-Webster. "Green" (Accessed 03/01/2009)http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/green
- Michigan State University. "The Green Roof Research Program at MSU." (Accessed 03/01/2009)http://www.hrt.msu.edu/faculty/rowe/green_roof.htm