Green Roofs: the BIG Idea

Green Roof Advantages

Green roofs have perhaps the broadest set of benefits of any sustainable building strategy. By replacing barren rooftops with living plants, we can preserve many of the advantages of the original, natural landscape. Here are a few of the reasons why green roofs are becoming increasingly popular in Minnesota…

CLEAN WATER

Our state is rich in beautiful bodies of water. Ordinarily, rainwater picks up contaminants and heat as it rushes across roofing and other hard surfaces on its way to our lakes and rivers. Green roofs hold onto much of the rain, reducing the runoff that would otherwise cause water pollution and decreasing the need for additional (and expensive) stormwater treatment infrastructure.

KNOW YOUR GREEN ROOF PARTS!

LONGER-LASTING ROOFS

Because the waterproofing membrane is underneath the other layers of the green roof, it is protected from factors that can cause roofs to fail: extreme heat, UV radiation, and thermal swings. In general, green roofs last longer than conventional roofs, reducing both consumption and waste.

COOLER BUILDINGS AND CITIES

The plants on a green roof shade the building, and further cool it through the natural process of evapotranspiration. If enough roofs in a city are greened, they can combat the urban heat island and help mitigate the effects of global warming.

HABITAT CREATION

Green roofs create green spaces in the built environment that birds and beneficial insects can use as habitat. Green roofs also beautify our cities, creating better habitat for humans as well.

CLEAN AIR

Green roofs improve air quality by taking up carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, and by filtering airborne particulates.