Saturday, August 20, 2016

Green Rooftops for Energy Efficiency

The LEED system for energy efficient building construction, maintenance, and operation has led to renewed interest in roof gardens and greenery. Several important considerations should be examined for retrofit and new construction of such systems.
For over 70 years the concept of placing live ecosystems on top of buildings in the U.S. has been pursued as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional roofing materials. These systems range from discreet box gardens covering minimal surface area to eave-to-eave plots covering the entire roof.

The idea of planting a live roof actually originated in Europe long ago, mainly as a cheaper and more readily available alternative to more robust roofing systems at the time. And while the benefits and maintenance of these “living roofs" is the subject of much discussion, the successful construction of these systems requires attention to several factors: material specifications, structural loads, and water handling.

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