Rooftop farming and roof gardens are a new spin on a very old model of roofing (Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii). In addition to being visually appealing roof gardens provide food, additional temperature insulation, and reduces your carbon footprint. As Texas grows increasingly urbanized, this architectural modernization will undoubtedly help the scaling of food production and increase the self-sustainability of individual homes in the near future.
Impact on the Environment
According to Ong in “Landscape and Urban Planning”, besides reducing heat absorption, plants reduce the re-radiation of the surrounding environment because their temperatures do not rise above 4-5 ®C. This means that when the sun goes down, the temperature will drop faster because energy is not able to be absorbed so thoroughly and can be released faster. Translated to an entire city, the temperatures are much reduced and are even evident when comparing the temperatures between urban and rural areas on the evening weather.
Additionally, roof gardens also reduce rain runoff. As we see in College Station roofing, rains quickly turn into flash floods. Roof gardens will help retain the water and delaying the runoff during a storm’s “peak flow”. The National Research Council of Canada found that if roof gardens are adopted widely in urban environments, then even high levels of smog and heat stress can be reduced greatly.
Hunger in the United States
It’s a topic that few people want to really acknowledge but there are many people in our great country that do not have the same means that we all do. Unfortunately, that means a lot of times, good people go hungry. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people (including children) go without food for part of a month in Texas (Urban Harvest).
Roof gardens and community gardens are a great way of combating this problem. Because they are completely scalable and efficient, with regular work, 500 servings per year can be cultivated from a 40’x5’ raised garden bed (Urban Harvest).
Additional food production can also lead to income generation and opportunities that would not normally exist. Extra production or over production from qualified producers could lead to locally produced fresh foods provided in your supermarket and farmer’s market.
All about the Green
The costs of a roof garden are higher than the costs of a traditional composite shingle roof. That is due to the extra layers of protection that need to be added to ensure that a permanent barrier between the environment and interior of the home is maintained over the lifetime of the roof. Costs also include the additional maintenance on the roof due to the vegetation. Your College Station roofing contractor should be able to help you determine costs specific to your home and area.
However, in a University of Michigan study on Environmental Science and Technology, the cost of a 21,000 square foot roof, the cost of a green roof of that size was approximately $464,000. The cost of a relative traditional roof was only $335,000. However, the study found that in over the course of the roof’s lifetime, the green roof saved approximately $200,000. With figures adjusted, the total cost of the green roof was $264,000, while the cost of the traditional roof was $335,000. Thus a green roof would save almost $71,000, which could be used as an additional source of revenue for your business.
Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofing company with over 18 years. In additional to being the Home of the Bulletproof Roof Guarantee, the best warranty in the roofing industry, Schulte Roofing can help you determine your energy costs, long term costs, approximate yield, and how much money you will save over the life of your roof.