Benefits of Green Roofs eHow

Benefits of Green Roofs eHow

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Reduced Energy Use

Green roofs help buildings use less energy by providing extra insulation and shading the building from the sun. According to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM), green roofs reduce the need for heating and cooling by stabilizing building temperature. The plant media absorbs the heat during the day, which keeps the building cool, and holds the heat into the night, which prevents the building from becoming extremely cold after sunset. Whether the green roof is installed on the rooftop of a 1,500-square-foot home or a 500,000-square-foot office building, saving energy reduces utility bills and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. According to UF, green roofs could lower energy use by 15 to 30 percent.

Reduced Storm Water Runoff

Storm water runoff carries sediments, pollutants from vehicles, and other contaminants into natural waterways. Vegetation and soil catch storm water runoff and allow pollutants to settle before the storm water empties to natural waterways. The high percentage of rooftops and pavement to green space in urban areas disrupts the natural storm water filtration process. Green roofs absorb storm water before it drains through the streets and picks up pollutants. By the time the storm water drains from a green roof, it has been filtered and its volume has been reduced by 50 to 85 percent, according to UF. Reducing the load on municipal storm water systems saves communities money over the long term.

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