Ms Architecture Journal

Roof Gardens: Eco-friendly and Brown Roofs – The Variations and Benefits

Living roofs are soaring in recognition, in commercial and residential projects, due not just to their appearance, but the many ecological benefits they convey towards the building. You’ll note should you visit horticultural occasions for example Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows that lots of the show gardens incorporate eco-friendly roofs in some manner, that is usually a good symbol of future trends. This is a brief guide, explaining first of all what eco-friendly roofs and brown roofs are, before detailing how to use them and benefits.

Eco-friendly Roofs

Eco-friendly Roofs are essentially roofs which incorporate planting, frequently sedum or wildflower and field planting, grasses and mosses. Actually, some can also be grown with timber. The Rooftop Gardens in Kensington is really a prime illustration of this. Installing a eco-friendly roof results in a vegetated surface which supplies colour and interest all year round. Frequently, living roofs are utilized in rural settings as well as in places that the structures have to blend in to the background. Eco-friendly roofs will be either grown or seeded.

You will find obviously many factors before installing a eco-friendly roof, mainly making certain your homes roof is appropriate, and making certain it’s totally water tight. It is usually suggested to obtain a professional company perform work, as you could do this more damage than good otherwise done correctly.

Obviously, living roofs/wildflower and field roofs produce a dramatic visual impact, they also have numerous other benefits.

Advantages of Eco-friendly Roofs

1. Photosynthesis – the entire process of plants absorbing co2 and releasing oxygen. This really is of particular benefit in cities.

2. Filter pollutants and dirt in the area, again, an enormous benefit in cities.

3. Eco-friendly or living roofs behave as an insulating layer in your roof. You need to therefore be prepared to cut back in your energy bills, thus lowering your carbon footprint.

4. Rise in bio-diversity – encourage creatures for example bees, butterflies and wild birds in to the area. Using the current bee crisis, any chance to inspire bees in to the area is a big benefit.

5. Living roofs could be fitted with bird boxes to inspire wild birds, frequently endangered species, in to the area and provide them a secure atmosphere to nest.

6. Endangered plants could be introduced in to the roof planting.

7. Eco-friendly roofs can help to eliminate stormwater runoff considerably, which will help alleviate flooding, another very topical issue.

8. Frequently utilized as social areas, possibly on the top of office structures, allowing staff to possess somewhere eco-friendly to retreat to in the center of a major city. They’re also more and more being installed in public places, to supply necessary eco-friendly space in developed areas. Among this really is on London’s Cannon Street Station.

Brown Roofs

Brown roofs are much like eco-friendly roofs. The primary difference is the fact that although eco-friendly roofs are frequently installed partially for that aesthetic value, brown roofs are usually installed for ecological reasons, mainly, to inspire plants and wildlife.

Brown roofs are usually made using recycled materials and native soil. Whereas eco-friendly roofs are frequently grown using very specific plants and following structured plans, brown roofs evolve more naturally. Although they’re known as brown roofs because this is the color they’re during the time of installation, they often turn eco-friendly during a period of time when the plants have began to determine themselves.

Brown roofs can incorporate water pools, wetland areas, rocks and boulders, essentially any materials that will attract wildlife.

Advantages of Brown Roofs

1. Encourages wildlife in to the area – brown roofs are particularly designed with this thought. Particular plants might be introduced using the sole purpose of encourages bees or butterflies. Wetland areas will encourage other kinds of insects and creatures.

2. Brown roofs utilise soil and boulders that has been left out after construction work. This helps to ensure that wildlife who have been displaced when construction work started, are encouraged into the area.

3. Just like eco-friendly roofs, quality of air is improved upon, that is particularly advantageous in inner city areas.

4. As brown roofs are created using recycled materials, those are the greener alternative.

5. Brown roofs have all the advantages of a eco-friendly roof. They might take slightly longer to build up and flourish, however the ecological benefits will greater than compensate for that.

We within the United kingdom are somewhat falling behind other nations in relation to eco-friendly and living roofs. It has now been recognised, along with a policy has been explained introducing much more of this kind of roof to both new and existing structures whenever we can.

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