There is no denying the aesthetically pleasing appearance of a green rooftop, but you likely have never considered it as a possibility for your condo building’s rooftop or parking garage. Green roofs are the norm in Europe, but the culture is catching on more slowly in the western world.
Cost seems to be the main factor holding property managers and Board members back from bringing this innovative idea forth to their condo communities. Let’s face it — standard tar and gravel rooftops are cheaper, but the advantages and cost saved down the line makes it well worth it to invest in a green roof for your condo building. A green roof could in fact be very appealing to residents who are passionate about the environment and interested in contributing to the sustainability of their building.
Beyond being very attractive to look at, green roofs have a variety of ecological and economic benefits. Here are a few:
Extended Lifetime of Roof Membrane
Green roofs simply last longer. As a property manager or a Board member, this gives you more bang for your buck from the get-go. Why do green roofs last longer? They cover the waterproofing membrane protecting it from UV rays and extreme daily temperature fluctuations. This protection extends the lifespan of the waterproofing twice as long as conventional roofing.
The Greater Toronto Area has experienced a lot of inclement weather in the past few months and parking garages and basements have suffered immense damage from flooding. Heavy or continuous rain can do a number on your stormwater infrastrastructure. Here’s what can happen when your parking garage, for example, has a green roof and a bad storm hits:
- Stormwater that does leave the roof is delayed and reduced in volume.
- Retention and delay of runoff eases stress on stormwater infrastructure and sewers.
- Stormwater that runs off a green roof is cleaner than runoff from a conventional roof.
- A major benefit of green roofs is their ability to absorb stormwater and release it slowly over a period of several hours
Regulates Indoor Temperatures and Increases Energy Efficiency
Green roofs can provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding areas. Green roof temperatures can be 30–40°F lower than those of conventional roofs and can reduce city-wide ambient temperatures by up to 5°F
Green roofs help reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect, a condition in which urban environments absorb and trap heat. Due to the reduced need for air conditioning in the summer and less heating in the winter, a green roof significantly reduces energy consumption.
Provides a Habitat for Wildlife
The undisturbed habitat of a green roof can encourage bees and other creatures, such as ground-nesting birds. Bees are particularly important due to the fact that agricultural crops worldwide depend on honeybees to pollinate their plants. Currently there is a decline in bee colonies and one of the reasons is destruction of habitat.
Plant leaves trap dust particles from the air, and evapotranspiration cools ambient temperatures. Green roofs can result in:
- Less ground level ozone + less heat = less smog.
- Reduced Urban Heat Island profile.
- Less need for health care services result in societal cost savings.
Canadian Design and Construction Inc. provides excellent service to the condominium sector and is your expert when it comes to your parking garage restoration project! Contact us today for more information on our specific services, and for tips on how to approach your condo Board about getting a green roof for your parking garage.