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The Benefits of a

Green Roof System


Benefits
The concept of green roofing is far from new. Roof gardens have been with us for many
centuries, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon being a famous example. Earth sheltered huts
have been in use since the Viking period and even today, the Scandinavians continue to use
turf to cover their domestic roofs.

It is only in the last few years that the benefits of green roofs to the environment have been
fully recognised, especially now with more and more emphasis being placed on the condition of
our planet.

We can look at the benefits in four main categories, though many will overlap:
Environmental
Ecological
Technical
Financial

Environmental Benefits

Environmental Masking
A green roof offers the design potential for a building to blend into its surrounding landscape
and at the same time replaces the permeable land otherwise lost to the construction. This can
prove favourable when the project goes to planning with the Local Authority.
Practical Use of Waste Materials
Many materials can be used which have minimal impact on the environment. Items such as
the waterproofing membranes, drainage layers and growing mediums i.e porous brick, are
readily used. It is also possible to re-use the secondary aggregate from the original site as the
growing medium; this further lessens the impact on the environment by reducing the need for
waste disposal to landfill and the associated transportation.
Wherever possible, salvaged, reclaimed, recycled or recyclable materials are used within the
Bauder Green Roof System.
Urban Heat Island Effect and the Control
of Air Humidity
The urban heat island effect is the difference
in temperature between urban areas and the
surrounding countryside. In large cities this
can be as much as 5C. Additionally the large
reflective surfaces of buildings within the city
absorb solar radiation and reflect the heat
back in to the atmosphere. The plants of a
green roof will absorb this heat and also the
natural evaporation of water from the plants
and soil helps to cool and humidify the air,
lowering the ambient temperature.

UNITED KINGDOM IRELAND


Bauder Ltd Bauder Ltd
Broughton House Broughton Road O'Duffy Centre Cross Lane Carrickmacross
Ipswich Suffolk England IP1 3QR Co. Monaghan Ireland
T: +44 (0)1473 257671 E: info@bauder.co.uk T: +353 (0)42 9692 333 E: info@bauder.ie
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Ground Based Ozone
A green roof reduces the rate by which ground based ozone is produced by lowering the
ambient air temperature which is a contributory factor.
Improved Air Quality
A natural process of plants is photosynthesis whereby
they use the energy from sunlight to convert water and
carbon dioxide into sugars and oxygen. The chemical
equation of photosynthesis shows that six molecules of
CO2 and six molecules of H2O are converted into one
molecule of sugar and six molecules of O2. This is
excellent news for the environment and the more
vegetation that is planted in cities the better the air
quality. The vegetation will attract airborne pollutants
and dust particles, removing them from the
surrounding air.
Storm Water Management
Green roofs retain rainwater by storing it in the plants and substrate, which then evaporates
back into the atmosphere. By slowing down and reducing the levels of rainwater entering the
drainage system, less strain is put on what are normally old sewage systems thus helping to
mitigate flooding. A green roof will retain 40-90% of average rainfall, depending on the time of
year.
Noise Reduction
Green Roofs have excellent sound reduction qualities,
both external sound (up to 3dB) and internal noise (up
to 8dB). This could prove both economically and
environmentally effective close to airports or industrial
developments.
Thermal Performance
A green roof will provide greater thermal performance
for the roof, though this will vary depending on the
time of year and the amount of water held within the
system.

Ecological Benefits

Creating a Natural Habitat for Plants and Birds


Both plants and small wildlife are encouraged to remain in the area as a habitat is recreated
that would otherwise be lost to the footprint of the construction.
Aids Biodiversity
The provision of a living habitat specifically designed to
target a species of plant or wildlife. Natural colonisation
and cross-fertilisation of plants allows for a truly natural
habitat to form, though a helping hand can be given by
sowing a specific seed mix. The roof is generally self
sustaining and so requires minimal maintenance.

UNITED KINGDOM IRELAND


Bauder Ltd Bauder Ltd
Broughton House Broughton Road O'Duffy Centre Cross Lane Carrickmacross
Ipswich Suffolk England IP1 3QR Co. Monaghan Ireland
T: +44 (0)1473 257671 E: info@bauder.co.uk T: +353 (0)42 9692 333 E: info@bauder.ie
bauder.co.uk bauder.ie
Technical Benefits

Protects the Waterproofing


The green roof provides a protective covering for the
waterproofing from UV damage and thermal
movement. Research has shown that the life
expectancy is immeasurable extended and certainly
lasts the estimated design life of most buildings. This
potentially eliminates future replacement costs. Some
buildings are still going strong after 90 years!

Financial Benefits

Reduced Lifecycle Costs


The main reduction in lifecycle costs comes from the green roof providing protection from the
damaging effects of the weather, which effectively ages the waterproofing, thus the time span
between replacement is extended enormously, and in many cases unnecessary.
Reduced Building Running Costs
The enhanced thermal performance provides a more balanced temperature within the building.
This reduces heating costs in the winter and air conditioning expenses during the summer.
Aid to Planning Consent
Many local authorities favour planning proposals that incorporate green roofs within the
application, particularly if it meets their policies towards a sustained environment.
Offset Construction Costs
In large construction projects a green roof can mean that storm water holding tanks are no
longer required as the roof itself will retain much of the rainfall. Additionally, for all roofs the
number of water outlets is reduced.
Horizontal Roofs Possible
Screed to falls is an expensive element of the construction
and as a green roof can be installed on a horizontal deck,
the cost of the screed can be set against that of the green
roof.
Creates an Amenity Space
The roof is an under utilised asset as it offers the unique
potential to replace the land lost to the construction as
reusable space. Large roof areas covering underground car
parks can provide parkland or sports facilities.
Increases Property Value
As an additional dimension is created, the property will
maximise the potential available for the site, and so
increase the value.
Productivity in the Workplace
Research has shown that people working in offices that
overlook green spaces have a higher productivity than
those surrounded by a poorer outlook on to hard
impervious buildings. The evidence shows that there is a
reduction in stress levels if people have visual and personal
contact with natural greenery and that physically they
benefit from the cleaner air.
Health
Hospitals are greening overlooked roofs or incorporating garden areas for the benefit of
patients as they find that their recovery is quicker. Some able patients are also encouraged to
access the gardens and to actively maintain them as part of therapeutic exercise.
UNITED KINGDOM IRELAND
Bauder Ltd Bauder Ltd
Broughton House Broughton Road O'Duffy Centre Cross Lane Carrickmacross
Ipswich Suffolk England IP1 3QR Co. Monaghan Ireland
T: +44 (0)1473 257671 E: info@bauder.co.uk T: +353 (0)42 9692 333 E: info@bauder.ie
bauder.co.uk bauder.ie
Riverhead Infant School

The Ebley Mill roof garden is a


real gem. Tucked away, almost
out of sight, it is a tranquil oasis.
Its thoughtful design makes it
pleasant to step outside, even on
a cold winters day.
David Marshall,
Public Relations Officer,
Stroud District Council
Ebley Mill, Stroud District Council

Arbroath Abbey, Angus, Scotland


Bauders sedum roof was ideal as it offered
a natural low maintenance roof covering
which suited the various roof forms of the
new building, and it sits well beside the
historic Arbroath Abbey, Scotland, helping
the building become part of the landscape
rather than compete with the Abbey itself.
Jenny Robertson,
Simpson and Brown Architects

UNITED KINGDOM IRELAND


Bauder Ltd Bauder Ltd
Broughton House Broughton Road O'Duffy Centre Cross Lane Carrickmacross
Ipswich Suffolk England IP1 3QR Co. Monaghan Ireland
T: +44 (0)1473 257671 E: info@bauder.co.uk T: +353 (0)42 9692 333 E: info@bauder.ie
bauder.co.uk bauder.ie