Chaz came up with a suggestion to pursue a green roof for our two large porches. One over the entrance and one overlooking the backyard. All together it is about 500 feet of roof space to cover. We hit the Google tubes and began some serious research on current providers, green roof benefits, and the co$t. In our case, the main focus was to establish an enhanced view for guests from the second floor while also reducing rainwater runoff, dampening sound, and increasing the lifespan of each roof.
Pictures like this made it seem like something far too complicated for our small application. But never fear!
Green roofs (depending on application) have a number of benefits as listed on sites researched through the power of the internet. We tried to edit it down to just a few listed below.
Improved physical and mental health from exposure to nature.
Green roofs are much better looking than asphalt, gravel or tar.
Natural views create more productive, healthy, happy, creative, relaxed people.
Green roofs expand the usefulness of buildings via patios, gardens and vistas.
Urban Heat Island Mitigation--The urban heat island effect is the temperature difference between urban areas and their rural surroundings. The temperature differential causes air currents and dust, and even contributes to violent weather events within urban settings. Green roof vegetation helps by cooling the air, slowing air movement and acting as a substrate for pollution to settle out and detoxify.
Plants, soil, and air trapped in the soil are great acoustic insulators. Tests indicate that green roofs can reduce indoor sound by as much as 40 decibels, which is of great benefit to occupants of buildings affected by airports, industry, trains and traffic.
Fire Prevention & Construction Advantages
Succulent green roof plants help reduce the risk of fire.
Green roofs protect exterior roof membranes from ultraviolet radiation, extreme temperature fluctuations, punctures and other physical damage and extend the life of a roof.
Water Conservation/Reduction of Storm Water Runoff
The soil in green roof systems acts like a sponge and absorbs excess rain water. Green roofs reduce the impact of each new building on the municipal storm drainage system and surrounding watershed. They reduce flooding, erosion and artificial heating of water which helps preserve fisheries and other aquatic life.
Green roofs filter water prior to returning it to the aquifer. They buffer acid rain and remove nitrate pollution as water slowly percolates through the soil. What runoff remains will usually occur hours after peak flows, providing additional time for sewer systems to handle the runoff burden from impervious surfaces.
Plants and soil help recreate habitat for butterflies, insects, and songbirds.
So aside from setting a great example, we find some direct benefits for our project as well. Right now we are looking at quotes from the following two providers, plus weighing the costs to create our own system using materials and plants purchased locally. We will blog further as things develop and we narrow down our options to have something in place for opening.