Green Roofing – It’s Not Just for Europe Any More!

The issue of global warming has everyone questioning whether the phenomenon is actually man-made or just a normal climate fluctuation. No House_Green_Roofmatter the answer to that question; one certainty is that all the media coverage has increased consumer awareness of the environment. One proof of this newfound awareness is the increasing number of families that have applied green roofing Houston concerns to their own roof.

Green roofing is not an entirely new roofing concept. In fact, this particular method of roofing was around during the era of the Vikings and during the Middle Ages. During the late 19th century, the same roofing method was also well known in farm houses located in northern Scandinavia. People back then placed sod on top of several layers of birch bark and sloping wooden roof boards to serve as a roof for the house. There are two purposes for this crude roof design: the sod presses down on the layers of birch bark to hold it in place and the sod also serves as an insulator during the cold months.

Environmental Benefits

Modern roofing Houston designs do not require sod to hold the roofing material in place to be considered environmentally friendly; however, for those truly concerned about this there are many things that can be done for the environment, including modern green roofing.

It is well-known that plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. With green roofing in place, a home can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of air pollutants, particularly carbon dioxide. During the rainy season, the thin layer of soil on the roof top will act as a filter and absorb the pollutants and heavy metal in the rain water allowing filtered water to flow down. The green plants also encourage habitation of wildlife.

Insulation Benefits

Aside from the environmental benefits, there are also several practical benefits from green roofing, particularly thermal insulation and sound insulation. The soft property of sod is capable of cancelling both high and low frequency noise. Sod acts as a sound barrier, preventing external noise from entering which results in a quieter indoor environment. During summer or winter, sod also serves as an insulating force, keeping extreme cold or heat outside and preserving an even temperature inside. This helps to lower the energy consumption of air conditioners. The additional layer of sod also helps protect the underlying roofing material and can result in a longer roof life.

Increasing Awareness and Usage

So far, the number of houses adopting green roof usage in the United States is increasing in number. Other countries have also taken the lead in implementing green roofing including Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and Australia to name a few. This increasing number is due to the practical as well as aesthetic benefits of green roofing.

Implementing a green roof on any home is simple, inexpensive, and beneficial. Before jumping on the green roofing bandwagon, bear in mind that there are structural requirements for installing a green roof. The additional weight of the soil and plants as well as the water that the sod will absorb could cause excessive static pressure on the roof and possibly cause the roof to collapse. So before implementing a green roof, consult a professional roofing Houston contractor to assess whether the roof is structurally adequate.  If the structure is sound, consider using green roofing on your home!