Installing Green Roofs Can Bring More Than Aesthetic Appeal
Roof landscaping is taking big cities and small towns alike by storm. Between the environmental savings, energy savings and aesthetic appeal, it is easy to see why installing a green vegetative roof is becoming the popular choice for many businesses. Green roofs can be used in a number of interesting ways.
In Pittsburgh, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center has turned much of its rooftop into a sustainable garden. The North Terrace includes 1,200 square feet of organic heirloom vegetables that are used by the center’s food service provider, Levy Restaurants. That isn’t all, though. The South Terrace is just as beautiful, featuring 22,400 square feet of calming grass and plants separated by a “river” of blue glass pavers. The area has more than 20 species that adapts to the area’s environment, and a drip irrigation system uses moisture sensors to determine when watering is necessary. A nearby rooftop plaza hosts events.
Meeting and Exercise Space
Research has shown that employees who can get up and move throughout the day are more productive, and Facebook’s headquarters took that research to heart. Their nine-acre garden features more than 350 trees and about 100,000 shrubs, which are planted in wells dug into foam to control growth and prevent roots from digging into the roof. Their green vegetative roof includes a walking loop, several benches for relaxing and a meeting space.
Storm water Runoff
When a library in Cedar Rapids was damaged by flooding, the city decided to rebuild the roof with excess storm water in mind. The 24,000-square-foot green vegetative roof includes plenty of vegetation that helps to absorb rainwaters. An integrated system uses two 5,000-gallon cisterns to collect water and send it to the vegetation. The roof uses hardy plants that survive in the extreme summer heat and frigid winter temperatures, and waterproofing membranes under the vegetation ensures protection for the roof.
Federal changes in how medical facilities must cut costs means they have been looking for long-term methods to do so. Katy Medical Plaza decided that a green roof was the way to go. The building’s roof is 16,000 square feet of walking paths and relaxing views that is accessible to guests, but underneath the aesthetic appeal, it has an even more important function. The plants serve to retain up to 73 percent of the area’s rain with the rest of the runoff being directed into an underground cistern. That cistern is used to irrigate the property and even flush its toilets, leaving the building independent of city water for those functions.
The ways in which a green vegetative roof can be used are practically endless. With a bit of creativity, you can make your commercial property more functional and more beautiful by having a green roof installed.