Intensive Roofing Systems

Help The Environment -- And Yourself -- Intensive Roofing Systems

Intensive Roofing Systems

One of the greatest ways in which you can help the environment as well as yourself is to make the investment in an intensive roofing system. But before I discuss the specifics of these types of roofing systems, I need to take a step back and discuss what a "green roof" is all about, because you are sure to hear more about them in the future as they become more popular.

Essentially, a green roof is an environmentally-friendly roof. This is a bit different than a conventional "roof garden" where one simply puts planters and various types of pots on a flat roof to grow plants and vegetables. A green roof, on the other hand actually turns your roof surface itself into a growing medium, through the use of a layer of topsoil which is applied to the top of it.

Green roofs can be classified into two categories: extensive roofing systems, which permit things like grass and wild flowers to grow in just a few inches of soil, and intensive roofing systems which contain at least a foot of soil or more, and permits the growing of vegetables, flowers, shrubs -- even trees!

One important thing to note about intensive roofing systems is that due to the additional weight of the topsoil, you must have a roof which is capable of withstanding this additional weight. Lightweight roofs may need to be reinforced -- in some cases even totally replaced -- before they can safely accommodate an intensive roofing system.

Another important thing to note about intensive roofing systems is that they are more expensive to install -- and also more expensive to maintain. The kinds of plants and vegetables which are grown on intensive roofing systems typically require more care, including proper watering and feeding, than the extensive green roof.

While the casual bystander may dismiss all of this as a short-lived fad, in fact intensive roofing systems can provide extensive environmental benefits. Chief among these is heat relief. Intensive roofing systems are found most often on flat building roofs in urban areas -- and urban areas can have a much higher temperature than suburban or rural locations. Another important benefit of intensive roofing systems is that the plants and vegetables help to purify the air -- another important consideration in an urban environment.

Another important reason for investing in an intensive roofing system is that it will help to prevent the runoff of damaging storm-water. In an urban environment, storm-water runoff can be quite polluted, as it picks up minerals and chemicals from various types of building and roofing materials. But when an intensive roofing system is installed, the water is absorbed instead of being allowed to run off -- and that means less harmful runoff will enter our drinking water supply.