Affordable Green Roof Options Modern Hippie Mag

Affordable Green Roof Options Modern Hippie Mag

Have you ever thought about getting a green roof for your home, but thought it would be too expensive? Green roofs do not need to be extravagant or costly. Yes it’s true, green roofs or eco roofs can be affordable for the average homeowner.

Ecological shelters are actually not a new idea – it has been around since ancient civilization. The best example of this would be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which utilized the use of green roof concepts to add beauty (although today’s green roofs are mainly to address environmental issues). Another good example of eco roofs used in the past are green roofs found in Scandinavia, where residences and farm structures have simple grass-covered roofs. The purpose of the green roofs is to absorb rainfall and act as a thermal protection.

Two General Types of Green Roofs

  • Extensive Eco Roofs – These are low profile roofs that have fewer layers, making them lighter in weight as well as less expensive and simpler to maintain. They are usually used when the eco roof is meant for limited access.
  • Intensive Green Roofs – Also known as high profile ecological roofs, these have a more traditional look, like roof gardens with different types of plant materials. They have thicker layers compared to extensive eco roofs. There are often also architectural accents integrated into intensive green roofs, such as ponds, fountains, or gazebos, which require more maintenance.

Initial costs for extensive green roofs are around $9 per square foot for sedums and growing media in 3 inch sizes. A more common range, which includes membranes, runs from $14 $25 per square foot. Intensive green roofs tend to be priced at an average of $25 $40 per square foot.

In this day and age, many homeowners are aware of the many environmental problems humanity faces and want to take part in green living practices. However, there are many homeowners who are hesitant to upgrade their standard roofs into green roofs due to the perception of high costs.

Affordable Green Roof Options Modern Hippie Mag

Below are some types of affordable eco roofs that homeowners can install:

1) Green Packs. These are less costly compared to most landscaping products, and low maintenance. They are knitted with high density polyethylene and have modules that can be easily installed on the roof.

2) Green Roof Blocks. These are modules that are pre-fabricated with high-grade anodized aluminum. They are first grown in greenhouses, then shipped and installed. The average homeowner can install green roof blocks quickly and easily.

3) Pre-grown from Mats. These are like roof blocks that are grown first in greenhouses, then transported to the site of installation. They can be placed straight on, or fit to curved angles. Their flexibility makes them easier to fit on different types of roofing.

4) Grown from Plugs. These are green roofs that are pre-grown, then installed in the roof’s soil layer. This system is a little more expensive than the others, but the return on investment is faster and there is less maintenance. It’s also possible to arrange them into specific colors and patterns.

As we move into a new year, consider updating your homes exterior!


John Tarantino is an active volunteer in the environmental movement in Portland, Oregon. He writes for The Environmental Blog. and loves spreading green news to people who will listen.

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