Diagram Showing What A Green Roof Is

What Is A Green Roof?

A green roof, also known as a living roof, is an extension of a building’s existing roof covered with vegetation. Some green roofs are installed on-site as one large section, but the majority of them use modular units. With a modular system, you can prepare each module with drainage layers, filter cloth, growing media, and plants prior to installation. The individual modules are then arranged and placed together, often with an interlocking grid, to cover the whole roof.

Green roofs can be installed on existing roofing systems, provided they are in solid overall condition. While a brand new roof is not a requirement to install a green roof, older roofs nearing their useful life, should be replaced before investing in a green roof.

Benefits of Green Roofs for Commercial Buildings

While more common in Europe, green roof systems are gaining popularity in North America. More and more property managers across the nation are discovering the countless benefits a green roof system offers. A green roof positively contributes to the environment, our health, and your wallet. While there are many benefits to green roofs, three of the biggest benefits are aesthetics, marketing, and storm water management.


One of the most noticeable effects of a green roof is the aesthetic improvements. Naturally, the building looks more beautiful with fresh, living plants. The plant life also assists in regulating the temperature of the building, significantly reducing your energy costs. Green roof systems also reduce noise pollution, making it an excellent option for any property in a bustling city.


When it comes to marketing your business, a green roof demonstrates to the public that your company cares about the environment. Likewise, a green roof may draw tenants, clients, or others to your building out of curiosity or interest. Green roofs have been linked to increased sales, higher employee retention, easier employee recruiting, and more.

Storm Water Management

Green roofs play a beneficial role in stormwater management. A traditional commercial roof retains 24% of rainfall, while a green roof, on average, retains 80%. This ability to retain water and thus decrease the amount of stormwater runoff offers many environmental benefits. Less runoff means less stress on the sewer systems and fewer pollutants entering our waterways.

How Does a Green Roof Benefit the Public?

The benefits of a green roof extend far beyond your property line. Green roofs are able to sustain many different plant types and provide habitats for various birds. Their ability to diversify allows for increased biodiversity. Increasing biodiversity can have a positive impact on the general public environmentally, economically, and socially.

Air Quality

The installation of a green roof comes with an influx of healthy plant life, and increased plant life leads to improved air quality. The plants are able to capture airborne pollutants and filter gases. Along with the temperature moderating effects of green roofs, they have the potential to reduce CO2 released in the air.

Reduce Heat Island Effect

Another benefit of green roofs is their ability to cool cities. On hot summer days, the plants cool cities through the evaporation cycle. This can reduce the urban heat island effect. Black rooftops are among the hottest surfaces in the city, and by covering them in plant life, it will cool the air more effectively.

Green Space

Green roofs also provide the public with green space. You could create a community garden and decrease the community’s carbon footprint by growing food locally. These types of projects can also help empower communities and teach students about green roof technology.

If you are looking for ways to make your property more eco-friendly, a green roof is a great way to go. It offers environmental, financial, and health benefits. If you want to learn more about “going green” click here to see what other environmentally friendly projects you should consider for your commercial property.


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