The Benefits Of A Green Roof

Chicago is one of the greenest cities in America, ideally positioned for sustainable businesses to locate and grow.

23,000 sq ft green roof garden on top of Chicago’s City Hall

Chicago, the third largest city in America, suffers from the urban heat island effect. It is an effect that occurs when an urban area is heated by human activities, so that it becomes significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas.

The City of Chicago decided to combat this effect by installing a green roof on the rooftop of its City Hall in 2001. Temperatures on top of the green  roof can be 80 degrees cooler than neighboring, traditional rooftops.

Green roofs cool the air through evaporation, and by providing shade.

Another benefit of green roofs is their ability to reflect light better than traditional, darker roofing, which absorb heat into buildings. This way, green roofs can help you save on air conditioning costs.

On top of that, they provide insulation during the winter to help you save on heating costs!


Green roofs also remove air pollutants and green house emissions from the air. They also purify rainwater through natural filtration.

And they have great aesthetic appeal.

#POTD: See what Yahoo! has to say about green roofs #greeninfrastructure
To install a green roof, you will need to hire a professional. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities can help you find one in your area.

As green roofs weigh more than conventional roofing, you will need a sturdy roof that can support about 20 lbs / sq ft to install one. Make sure your roof is flat or slopes no more than 30 degrees, and that it is in a sunny location, for maximum growth and maximum benefits!

DIY green roof, Mill Valley Cabins, Mill Valley

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Sources:

http://www.greenamerica.org/livinggreen/greenroofs.cfm

http://www.epa.gov/hiri/mitigation/greenroofs.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_City_Hall 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/climate-change/july-dec12/climate_10-09.html

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