The idea of the Green Roof is, in general, the replacement of the usual roofs of civil constructions (composed of slabs or tiles) by “living roofs”, which will consist of land and vegetation.
It is a technique in which vegetation is grown on surfaces, roofs, or facades, which has existed since the time of ancient Babylon (6th century BC) and even in the modern buildings of the 21st century.
The green roof has several advantages such as:
- Reduction of construction costs, since green roofing is cheaper than roofs made with slabs or tiles;
- Sound insulation caused by the green roof – It can represent a great advantage in large urban centers, in which noise pollution is very present;
- The green roof acts as a rainwater filter, facilitating the reuse of this water;
- High water retention – Contributes to regulating the humidity of the environment in which it finds itself, as well as helping to alleviate the problem of drainage (or runoff) of rainwater in urban settings;
- Thermal insulation – The presence of vegetation helps to mitigate sudden changes in temperature throughout the day. This is because plants, through photosynthesis, absorb radiation. The green roof can provide, therefore, a milder temperature inside the environments, making the use of air conditioners and similar equipment rarer.
- Reduction of the greenhouse effect – As is well known, plants have the capacity to absorb carbon gas from automobiles powered by fuel, mitigating the greenhouse effect;
- Increased durability – The use of vegetables added to the base of the building (be it concrete, tile, or plastic) makes the construction more durable;
- Habitat for living beings – The green roof may return to certain species of living beings the habitat that was removed from them with the expansion of urban centers, rebalancing the ecosystem;
- Psychological factors for humans – Contact with vegetation, even if visual, can have beneficial effects on the human mind, considering that contact with nature has been increasingly rare with the advance of urbanization;
- Restoration of vegetation removed by civil construction – This advantage is based purely on the logic of restoring the damage caused; as previously stated, civil construction occupies originally natural environments, occupied by animal and plant species.
Obviously, no technique is perfect, and there will always be negative aspects of its implementation. The green roof, for example, requires constant maintenance, considering that it is composed of vegetation – this may represent an extra cost in your work.
So, did you understand what the green roof is in the context of sustainability in civil construction?
Sustainability is one of the most important topics of today for Civil Engineering. If you are looking to construct a reliable and eco-friendly roof, then you should not consider anything else but a green roof because that is how you can ensure the safety and well-being of your family as well as your environment.