In the UK, (and probably mainly in London), there has been a growing trend towards retrofitting buildings with green roofs. However, not all buildings are suitable for retrofitting and it is currently an unknown quantity as to the actual amount of buildings that have the potential to be retrofitted.
Green Roof Insulation Qualities
The insulation qualities of green roofs are well known. Prior to 1965, insulation was not required in building design. Currently, 50% of the UK’s non-domestic buildings were built before 1965. When you consider the substantial energy savings to be gained by having further insulation, it would seem a no-brainer to add a green roof to those buildings that are suitable for retrofitting. There are of course other benefits such as less carbon dioxide in the environment, better stormwater management and an extended lifespan of the actual roof. The latter of which must be attractive to the buildings proprietors.
Roof Lifespan Improved by Green Roofs
Of course, this can’t just be done all at once. Perhaps some kind of policy needs to be formulated with financial incentives to nudge the less enlightened in the right direction. It is worth noting that the average lifespan of a non-domestic roof in terms of repairs or full refurbishment to be about 20 years. The fitting of a green roof could increase the lifespan to as much as 45 years. With this in mind, the potential is huge and in doubt we are missing opportunities now. This is particularly relevant for medium-rise buildings that often have concrete flat roofs and where it would be unlikely that any structural modifications would be required.
Although, the initial costs associated with retrofitting a green roof can be higher than a standard roof, the cost savings over the life time of the building must be considered and when push comes to a shove, environmentally speaking that is, the fitting of a green roof is always the preferred choice.
What Next For Your Green Roofing Project?
To discuss your living roof project call us on 0844 057 0359. We’re happy to give advice and can supply everything you’ll need for your green roof including a root resistant membrane, your sedum and importantly your lightweight, organic green roof growing medium (IGV GmbH approved and accredited)