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Why Misunderstandings About Green Roofs Exist

Posted on October 19th, 2015 by Prunin Arboriculture & Landscape

Most people these days understand that green roofs help the environment and provide efficiency that helps cut energy costs. Green roofs, which are not the same as solar roofs, are designed to facilitate natural processes, including bee pollination. Biodiversity and temperature variation reduction are a few of the positive keys for more scientific minded thinkers. Despite the growing wave of support for the green revolution, here are some of the common myths that persist about green roofs.

Commercial Green Roof

  1. Pollinators and PV Work Together
    Green roofs designed for pollinators such as bees and butterflies do not work well with conventional solar panels, which collect heat from the sun. Solar panels, however, can be designed to help vegetation grow on a roof or create shade, which helps cool roofing. But it must be custom designed –ideally by someone who understands landscape architecture. Furthermore, PV systems can be designed to work with solar thermal systems and allow rain to flow through the roof to assist vegetation.

  2. Effectiveness of Brown Roofs
    Brown roofs work well in Switzerland but not so well in other places. The concept is based on scraping up construction site rubble and putting it on a roof. One major reason it has worked in Switzerland is that the ground there in construction sites comprises alluvial gravels. In many other places, however, the ground contains more clay and old concrete, which is not ideal for brown roofs, since it doesn’t hold water as well. Vegetation usually requires soil that retains water and provides sustainable drainage control.

  3. Replication versus Reproduction
    Reproducing what works in the ground is not necessarily compatible with green or brown roofing. Lifting ground surface and putting it on a roof is ineffective since soil needs to retain water and nutrients with subsoil beneath it. Recreating the ideal habitat requires using insulation and other means that are different from what happens in the ground. An effective green roof includes a brick-based layer or other intelligently-envisioned artificial architecture that is designed to be eco-friendly. Ultimately, green roofs can be integrated to stimulate pollinators while facilitating solar panels.

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