When discussing this pertinent issue now days, clarification is needed. With the development of the LEED program – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – and the energy efficiency certification available to specific roof systems, a Green Roof is no longer just one specific detail.
It used to be if you had a flat or low slope roof and you wanted to put plants and/or grass on it, it could be called a green roof. I continue to caution people to ensure their roof membrane is in good enough condition to accept the effects of such a plan. The torch on roof system Crucial Roof Services installs is more than equipped to handle the challenges associated with putting a growing medium on top of your roof membrane. The first thing needed, after a quality torch-on membrane roof system, is a drain mat which allows the water to easily flow towards the drain(s). Next we need a root barrier. The goal would be to grow plants that have a shallow and non-intrusive root base, but none-the-less we want to put down an effective root block. Finally you have the growing medium (2-5” deep) and vegetation. This is a pretty simple, and an effective way to lower your heating/cooling costs and contribute to the betterment of the planet. If you choose to go with a deeper growth and larger plants, this is known as an intensive green roof and may require irrigation and a drainage system.
The photo, corresponding to this blog, shows what an unintentional green roof may look like
Now with the development of reflective membranes there is a new and much more regulated and detailed category of Green Roofs. It seems my favourite torch on membrane company – Soprema – is leading the industry in this emerging field. Soprema’s website is an excellent source of information. To start your education off it must be known that there are 4 categories of LEED Certification – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum…. and it just expands from there. I’ll just touch on one small aspect of the whole LEED program. Follow this: There are the various membranes which are given “credits” or “values” for certain characteristics. These qualities or characteristics are more than just the energy efficiency or reflectivity of the product. For example, the environmental “footprint” of the membrane is calculated from the production point to its final destination and such factors as, material make up (and if recycled contents exist), whether it was shipped by train or truck (which have different effects on our environment), and even the carbon credit of the factory is considered in effecting the value or credit the material achieves.
Contact Crucial Roof Services for further information about torch down roof systems.