Green Roofs in Buffalo

With environmental awareness coming to a head, green roofs are becoming more popular by the year. Also known as ‘rooftop gardens,’ green roofs consist of a layer of vegetation that grows on a rooftop. There are many advantages of green roofs, which is why there has been more and more popping up throughout the country. They provide shade and remove heat from the air through the process of evapotranspiration, which in turn reduces the temperature of the roof surface. This comes in handy on hot summer days, when a conventional rooftop can be up to 90 degrees hotter than the surrounding air while a green roof can actually be cooler than the air temperature.
Green roofs also lead to reduce energy use. They absorb the heat, therefore reducing the required energy to heat and cool buildings. This also leads to reduced air pollution. When the need for air conditioning is decreased, so are the greenhouse gas emissions. During a heat wave, green roofs can make a world of a difference for the tenants of a building by significantly lowering the building temperature.
Green roofs can be beneficial in ways that are significant yet subtle. They provide a reduction in storm water runoff in urban environments while filtering pollutants from rainfall. This means enhanced storm water management and water quality.
As for the costs of installing a green roof, they start at about $10 per square foot and peak at about $25 per square foot for intensive roofs. Annual maintenance costs can vary from $0.75 per square foot to $1.50 per square foot. While the upfront costs may be a bit higher than the costs for a conventional roof, it will offset the difference by reducing the energy required to cool the building and the costs of storm water management. Green roofs may also experience longer lifespans than traditional roofs, so this will further offset the cost.
Based on a 2006 study by the University of Michigan, installing a green roof would cost about $460,000 while a conventional roof would cost about $335,000 (based on a 21,000 sq. ft. roof). However, over its lifespan, the green roof would save the owner about $200,000. The savings would mostly come from reduced energy needs.
While the initial installation cost of a roof may be off-putting, it is important to keep in mind what a difference it will make in the long run, not only for your energy costs but also for the environment.