The Top 5 US Cities for Green Rooftops
The top 5 cities for green roofs are Chicago, Illinois, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, Baltimore, Maryland and Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Chicago is the top green city, with approximately 500 thousand square feet of green rooftops. Washington D.C. is a meager second, with only 190 thousand square feet. Green rooftops are becoming less rare as cities realize the benefits of rooftop gardens. Annie Novak has raised organic farms in several locations, but this is her first time as a rooftop gardener, and her organic farm is 6,000 square feet of vegetables growing on a rooftop in Brooklyn New York.
The Benefits of Green Roofing
The creation of these green roofs is up 29 percent since 2010. This dramatic increase is due to the benefits, which come from installing a green roof. A green roof reduces the amount of energy needed to heat or cool a building; it absorbs most of the rainwater, enhances overall air quality and decreases heat pockets caused by urban environments. Green roofing is built on top of a waterproof lining, which is the foundation for the drainage system, plant layer, root barrier, and irrigation systems. Green rooftops reduce energy costs by balancing the building’s temperature. They retain the daytime heat making buildings warmer at night and cooler during the day. Studies have shown that these roofs can cut energy costs by a minimum of 15 percent. These rooftop gardens take in carbon dioxide and release much needed oxygen during the process of photosynthesis and the absorbtion of air pollutants. The result is cleaner air and a less pollution. Another bonus is that these green areas soon become habitats for birds and other wildlife.
Growing Trend in Green Roof Production
More companies are investing in the construction of green roofing. This upsurge in production is due to the energy savings, and improvement to the environment. During the last century cities were places where trees and other vegetation were removed to provide room for construction. There was little knowledge available about future consequences. Vast areas were covered in asphalt and cement. The black asphalt absorbs heat, making those places hotter. Tarred rooftops also raise the temperature, creating the heat island effect. Welcoming the plant life back, will hopefully undo some of the harm, which has been done to these urban landscapes. Washington D.C. is planning to have 20 percent of their building rooftops green by 2020.
The advantages of green roofing make it the better choice for large buildings and individual residences. More cities need to join the ranks of those, which are moving forward with green construction. Organic farms on top of business buildings may well be a way to increase food production. Innovative and future thinking individuals are making cities greener one rooftop at a time.
- Photo By andrewzahn
Peter Wendt is a writer living in Austin, Texas. His home kept having leaks in the ceilings and other roof-related issues, until he discovered this Austin TX roof repair contractor.