6 Ways to Get the Green Benefits without the Green Roof
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For the 90-some percent of us for whom a living roof doesn’t make sense, the benefits of such a roof are still attainable. Our experts have weighed in on the various ways to achieve a green roof's benefits without planting your roof.
Who wouldn’t want a green roof that doubles as a lovely rooftop garden and the ultimate sustainable home centerpiece? Unfortunately, it only really makes sense for a select few homes with particular structures and settings.
The best candidates for residential green roofs are flat-roofed structures in urban centers. It sounds counterintuitive, but as John Messerschmidt points out, planting a green roof in the countryside doesn’t make a ton of sense. “In the city, people claim a green roof will save energy, reduce the heat island effect, and prevent stormwater from overflowing the sewers,” he writes. “A cabin in the woods doesn't have the second two problems, and I doubt there would be enough energy savings to justify the expense, so there is no real reason to install a green roof [in a rural setting] unless you want a real expensive squirrel feeder.”
For those who could realistically install a green roof, there are a number of considerations, ranging from what to plant to how to irrigate. Check our green roof Q&As to see what other homeowners and contractors are saying about modular green roof products, extensive vs. intensive substrates, and irrigation.
For the 90-some percent of us for whom a living roof doesn’t make sense, the benefits of such a roof are still attainable. Susan Wisniewski compiled the following list of green roof benefits, in her Q&A "What's the difference between a green roof and a white roof?", and our experts have weighed in on the various ways to achieve them without planting your roof.