Living Roofs Building Around the San Francisco Bay Area

Living Roofs Building Around the San Francisco Bay Area

Living Roofs

Whether youre remodeling or not, roofing is a topic most homeowners just cant shake. Older roofs leak, crack, and need replacing or sometimes an all-out makeover. But what if you had the chance to renovate or even rebuild your home?

Would you consider installing a living roof?

First off, lets define the term living roof for those of you who are unfamiliar with it. NARIs textbook Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time defines them as protected-membrane roofs with soil and plantings (as well as insulation) installed above the membrane. In English, what you end up with is, essentially, a garden on top of your home. Most living roofs are built on flat or only slightly inclined surfaces to avoid the possibility of landslides and confrontations with the homeowners association. What would the neighbors say if they suddenly had a garden falling into their lot?

Aside from being a fantastic picnic spot (providing youre not afraid of heights), green roofs have a variety of meaningful benefits that attract builders, homeowners, and remodelers the world over. Consider the eco-friendly benefits of this style

California Academy of Sciences

According to Mark Wickstead of CNN, green roofs are not just aesthetic. They have important environmental benefits: they absorb storm water, reduce noise pollution, absorb heat (thus lessening the urban heat-island effect) and add an extra layer of insulation to buildings.

Now, lets look at a few examples of how living roofs are making their mark on some major cities.

Exhibit A) California Academy of Sciences

These days the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA reports that their new eco friendly building has over 1,700 plants covering their new living roof. It was built primarily for its ability to improve air quality and insulation, but there are other added perks, too. For example, their living roof is incredibly low maintenance which means no more wasted days spent scorching in the California sun re-shingling or re-roofing. Whew!

Chicagos City Hall

Exhibit B) Chicagos City Hall

Chicagos City Hall is a metropolitan Eden which plays hosts to a plethora of wildlife, even supporting a honeybee population that regularly provides beekeepers with fresh honey. What a perk! Otherwise, it helps reduce trapped urban heat and pollution from the city environment, also improving air quality.

People dont always look to their roofs as a possible way to reduce their footprint, but in this case living roofs are a great opportunity to take advantage of natures intrinsic benefits. Lets recap. Green roofs provide:

    Living Roofs Building Around the San Francisco Bay Area
  1. Improved, cleaner air quality
  2. Reduced stress on drainage systems during rainy seasons and storms
  3. Reduction of trapped heat and urban pollution (including the noisy kind)
  4. Extra insulation
  5. Less need for maintenance
  6. Honey (providing your roof is large enough)

Trust me, living roofs arent just for hobbit holes or Vikings anymore. No, even the most cosmopolitan and urban cities have adopted green roofing. Just google the term along with any major city and see what kind of results show up (try Chicago, New York, and San Francisco). As green builders, Chandler Building knows all about green roofing and building methods so dont hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email if you want some more information.

Signing off for now!,

(408)730-5626

kate@chandlerbuilding.net

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Resources:

Wikipedia Living Roofs


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