Green roofs, which incorporate living plants and soil into a building’s environment by using the roof of a structure as a growing space, is a great example of a sustainable building element that can efficiently serve more than one function in the environment, and can have benefits far beyond its own small footprint.
By cooling the roof of a structure, green roofs can lower a building’s climate control load, both for cooling and heating, and when solar panels are installed on a green roof, it can boost the efficiency of the PV array by as much as 16%. Designing, installing, and integrating green roofs into both existing and new structures could be a potential green business opportunity, especially if combined with a rainwater harvesting system that effectively distributes the runoff to the landscape.
However, there’s another side effect of green roofs, which is due to their ability to retain as much as 30% of the rain that falls on them, and which could position them as a cost-effective method of preventing overflows in areas with stormwater and sewage system issues. By retaining more of the stormwater, green roofs can lessen the load on local sewage systems during rains, and can do so at a cost comparable with other stormwater strategies.
Green roofs are a cost-effective means of preventing sewage system overflows, according to new research from Columbia University. The ability to stop overflows of course stems from the fact that green roofs retain water and thus prevent said water from…
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