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What are the New Developments in Green Roof Technology?

When it comes to the green revolution of the 21st century, there are many ways both businesses and homeowners can make a splash. From choosing the right home heating source to constructing a backyard composting pile, you can reduce your carbon footprint extravagantly. In today’s article, we’re going to focus on green movements specific to your home’s roof.

Shingle roof with solar panels

What Is A Green Roof?

We’re going to start by defining just what green roofs are and why they’re a vital component of the green revolution in the United States. A green rooftop is one that is covered with vegetation. This vegetation can be a variety of plants depending on the region, growing conditions of the roof, and your maintenance and irrigation preferences. These systems tend to be installed on mostly flat and slightly-sloped home roofs.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Green Roof?

Since you now have a better understanding of what a green roof is, you may be wondering why you should install one at your home. There are many different benefits you can gain from having a green roof installed. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular benefits below.

Rainwater Buffer

When rainwater comes down on your roof, it will go straight into the soil for your plants. The plants will use this water to grow. Some of the water will be evaporated and the rest will be purified via the soil and plant filter. This will help to decrease the amount of water going into the sewage system. In addition, these green rooftops will slow down the water drainage demand on the sewer systems, which can reduce their risk of creating flooding.

Lower Ambient Temperature

Your rooftop gets a lot of direct sunlight throughout the day. When you have plants that cover your entire roof, it can do wonders for reducing the overall temperature in your home. In fact, plants absorb about 50 percent of sunlight and reflect another 30 percent. These plants will keep your roof cool, which will, in turn, keep your home cooler in those hot summer months. When your home is cooler, you’ll have to run the air conditioner less. The less you run the air conditioner, the more energy savings you can enjoy on your next utility bill.

Creates A Sound Barrier

One really cool feature of a rooftop garden is that it acts as a sound barrier for your home. The sound waves are actually absorbed by the plants and the soil. This hinders the sound waves from traveling throughout your home. This can be great for those who live in noisy areas or deal with a lot of overhead noise from elevated railways and planes.

Extends The Life Of Your Roof 

One amazingly awesome feature of a green rooftop is that it essentially protects your existing roofing materials from the elements. This protection allows those existing roofing materials to have a longer than average lifespan. That means replacing your roof less often. When it comes to thousands of dollars per roof replacement, this extended lifespan can mean the world to keep your financial budget intact.

Promotes Better Overall Well-Being

There have been numerous studies done on the effect of greenery on the human body and mood. Those who work, live, and stay in a green environment have lower stress levels and are more relaxed. In fact, recovery centers have incorporated more greenery into their patients’ rooms as those who are surrounded by greenery tend to heal faster. Promoting a green rooftop environment can be great for your family’s well-being and the well-being of everyone around you affected by your rooftop garden.

Fire-Resistant Layer

There’s no denying the fact that plants tend to contain a lot of moisture. This is good news when it comes to your home as your rooftop garden can be a great way to provide an extra layer of fire protection for your home. You may just be surprised when your home’s insurance premium drops due to your new green rooftop garden.

Types Of Green Rooftops

When it comes to understanding the various types of green environments you can create on your rooftop. There are three main options. These include extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive roof gardens. Let’s take a quick look at each of these three types below.


An extensive rooftop will be about three to five inches deep. It’s typically filled with succulents, shrubs, grasses, and mosses. They require little to no maintenance and irrigation. These types of gardens can be easily constructed for those on a low budget who are looking for the benefits that come along with having a green rooftop.


A semi-intensive rooftop garden is constructed to be between five and seven inches deep. It will be filled with shrubs, herbs, ornamental grasses, sedums, and perennials. This is a mid-cost option that will provide a diverse habitat on your rooftop. You can expect to perform some partial maintenance on this type of rooftop garden. It will also require partial irrigation. 


This type of roofing garden is typically installed on buildings where there is enough room for depths ranging from 7 inches up to 24 or more inches. You’ll find perennials, trees, shrubs, putting greens, and farming plants in these intensive rooftop gardens. They’ll require regular irrigation systems and lots of maintenance. These tend to be on the more expensive side to construct than the semi-intensive or the extensive rooftop gardens.

Green Rooftop Technology

Even if you’re not a greenthumb, you can enjoy the benefits of having a green rooftop at your home. There are many new technologies coming out that allow you to craft your very own rooftop garden with ease. Some common examples are the pre-planted systems and multi-layer systems. 

The pre-planted green rooftop system comes along with all the different garden layers that you’ll need. These include the plant, growing medium, filter, and drain layers. You can opt for having this constructed in a ready to place tray format or in a roll. The tray simply gets placed directly on the existing roofing material. The pre-planted roll will get placed on the necessary growing medium of your choice. 

If you want to get a bit more involved in your rooftop gardening system, you can opt for the multi-layer systems. These are best installed in the spring and autumn months to ensure that the plants get properly rooted in the growing medium that you choose. These can sometimes be called a plant and plug system. With this type of green rooftop gardening system, you can place potted plants or spread cuttings over the growing medium. Either way, you can enjoy having more control over your rooftop garden than with a pre-planted rooftop system.

Deciding to have a green rooftop garden can be one that you have debated in the past. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the various benefits that you can gain from installing one at your home. With the advancements in green rooftop technology, you can even enjoy having pre-planted systems ready to go. This way, you can have your garden installed quickly and not have to worry about too much maintenance if you don’t want to.

We are a proud partner with SunPower by Positive Energy, let us know what you’re hoping to accomplish with your new green efforts and we can help you achieve them!