The Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof is the largest in Canada. It is home to 25 different species of plants, all indigenous to the West Coast, for a total of 400,000 plants. With the gravel, topsoil, and plants this roof weighs more than 11 million pounds.
Pretty impressive, right? But even if you are a small business owner with a small shop, an eco-roof is a smart investment. Not only does it benefit our planet, but it will also save you money in the long-run.
Here are the biggest reasons why installing a green roof makes sense for your business.
1. Reduce your energy costs
Traditional roofing is made of dark shingles that absorb the sun’s heat. Green roofs, on the other hand, reduce your need for air conditioning in summer months by over 75%.
2. Protects against fire and reduces stormwater runoff
Living plants are full of moisture. That means that businesses with a living roof have a natural fire-resistant layer. Also, green roofs slow down the amount of water runoff after rainstorms. Due to all the hard surfaces in cities, there isn’t enough soil and plants to absorb excessive rain. That leads to flooding of our city streets and buildings. An eco-roof can absorb and filter a huge amount of water to reduce the chances of flash flooding and sewer overflow. In fact, plant-based roofs retain up to 90% of summer-time precipitation and 40% in the winter.
3. Increases the lifespan of your roof and save money
Traditional roofs are exposed to harsh elements such as the sun, wind, rain and ice. The Canadian temperature fluctuations can also take a toll on your roof’s longevity. If you install a green roof, your roof is protected year-round. This can double your roof’s lifespan. That means less costs of re-roofing and less material waste.
Though the total cost of a green roof is more than a traditional roof, the life cycle cost is similar. You can use the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ calculator to see the cost of adding a green roof atop your building.
4. Add extra space
Green roofs allow you to turn unused space into a functional area for agriculture or as a recreational or social space. With urban space at a premium, it is a waste to neglect such useful spaces across our cities. Think of the added productivity and creativity your employees could tap into by being able to have brainstorming meetings up on your living roof.
You also have the option of getting involved in food production and doing your bit to enhance urban food security.
5. Combats the effects of Urban Heat Island
Urban areas with a high concentration of flat, dark roofs absorb the sun’s heat and result in the creation of a phenomenon known as the “Urban Heat Island”. That heat goes into the buildings themselves as well as the land space in the vicinity. That’s why temperatures in cities are much higher than in rural areas.
Urban Heat Island threatens native wildlife in cities. Research indicates that it may also have an indirect impact on global climate change.
6. Increases biodiversity and clean air
The assortment of plants, herbs and grasses that you plant on a living roof provide habitat for various insects, especially pollinators which are essential for our food production. A living roof is also a great way to improve air quality. The roof’s plants will remove air toxins, release fresh oxygen and provide shade.
7. Adds value to the building
Last of all, a sustainable and natural roof will reward you with an increase in your property value. With a green roof, you will be able to add a list of benefits to your property that will allow you to market and sell it with ease.
We’d love to hear what you think. Leave your comments in the section below.
Graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA English Specialization and has completed several publishing courses at Ryerson University. She is a proofreader, editor, and content writer based in London, Ontario.