The insulation benefits of a green roof

A living roof made from plants is not only attractive to look at and a boon for wildlife, but it can have a really positive insulating effect. This could impact on your energy consumption, which may help to reduce your bills.

Heat insulation

During the hotter months of the year, the heat from the sun is absorbed through the roof, heating up the inside of a building. In particularly hot countries, this could add increased pressure on air conditioning systems used to regulate the temperature. The advantage of a green roof installation is that the plants can effectively reduce the absorption of solar energy, helping to reduce the temperature below the surface of the roof. Some studies have indicated that a green roof can reduce the demand for air conditioning by up to 75%.

dog kennel with living green roof

A green roof can insulate pet housing making it more comfortable all year round
This kennel is available from www.enviroden.co.uk

In winter, a green roof can have the opposite effect, helping to trap warm air inside a building and prevent heat loss. With plants creating an insulating membrane, research has estimated that some buildings with a green or sedum roof can reduce heating consumption in winter by around 23%.

It is not just reduced energy consumption that is a benefit from having a green roof. The insulating and thermal effect can also help to increase the lifespan of the roof, where it is less likely to be affected by fluctuations in temperature and light rays. The waterproofing membranes of a roof, in particular, can last twice as long, or even more, in a green roof compared to a conventional roof.

Sound insulation

plane over roof

 

Heat isn't the only insulating factor of having a green roof. Research points to the fact that a living roof can also have a positive influence on sound insulation. It is widely believed that the plants, soil and air trapped within an eco roof system can absorb low and high frequency sound waves, acting as an effective sound insulation barrier. Studies show that a green roof can improve sound insulation by up to 8 dB compared to conventional roofs, so they may be a useful addition for those people living or working in noisy areas.

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