A green roof in Key West is known by several names such as ecoroof or living roof. They have been built on buildings for centuries. Many countries in the world have green roof subsidies or programs that encourage ecoroofs. Scandinavia has long had farm house buildings that have sod covered roofs. Some cities in the US are known for their living roofs such as Chicago’s City Hall building.
Basically a green roof is a roof that has vegetation and a growing medium. It will cost more than a standard asphalt shingle roofing application. Rooftop garden costs also depend on the type of green roof installed. There are several differences among green roofs in Key West and some applications that may or may not be defined as a green roof such as a container garden green roof.
What Is Green Roofing?
Before I became involved in the world of green building I had never even seen an eco-roof. The first time I saw one it struck me that from a purely aesthetic or architectural point of view they create a sense of integration, or synthesis between the structure and the surrounding landscape, but that isn't even the half of it...
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rosalind Haselbeck who along with Richard Alianelli form Building Green Futures, a San Diego company that specializes in living roof installation, here's what she had to say;
BIGC- So what do you see as the chief benefits of a living roof?
BGF- The answer to that depends on your idea of 'beneficial' I would say the greater benefit lies in the many environmental aspects, such as the regained space for plant life (pollution and CO2 reduction) as well as mitigation of the urban heat island phenomenon. However for the individual property owner his immediate and personal benefit lies in the exceptional insulation, and temperature reduction/stabilization effects, as well as improved storm water management due to the absorptive qualities of the growth medium and plant life. Did I mention they are beautiful?
BIGC- And maintenance?
BGF- That varies depending on type. Generally you would maintain your green roof twice a year, weeding, clearing drains, fertilizing- the same sorts of things you would do with your regular garden or landscaping...only on your roof.
So there you have it from the horses mouth. There are many factors involved in the world of green roofs. It all comes down to what is right for you and your budget. The good news is that there are now professionals out there like Rosalind and Richard who have made it their business to green the roofs of the world.
P.S. If you want more info check out these Cool Green Roof Links)
Flat Roofing Details - Pros and Cons
We spent a significant amount of money to repair the flat roof on our commercial building about four years ago. It is already leaking again. How do we maintain our roof and our sanity?
The major problem with flat roofs is that they are flat! This means there is often an opportunity for water and debris to collect. All flat roofs are designed with some slanting of their surface to allow water to flow towards gutters or roof drains. When this is interrupted the result is ponding, or puddles of water that remain on the surface indefinitely. Constant saturation from ponding will lead to a steady deterioration of the roof surface followed by water penetration. And the worse it gets, the worse it gets, to the point of major and expensive roof damage!
Even with the best of maintenance programs, no roof lasts indefinitely. Depending on your roof type, you will need to plan on replacing your roof every 10-20 years. Obviously, more expensive roofs are expected to last longer. Just as you replace the filters in your heating system on a regular basis, so must you invest in annual roof maintenance. The key is to nip the problem early and inexpensively. This is the best way to maintain both your roof and your sanity!