How Does Regular Stewardship Impact Energy Costs?

Posted by Ecogardens

How Does Regular Stewardship Impact Energy Costs? | Keeping your green roof fighting fit can help you save between 10 and 15 percent on energy costs.


Want to keep those energy costs low and protect that budget? Keeping your green roof sound is the place to start.

Keeping your green roof nice should provide its own motivation, but let’s face it: Life is busy.

There are meetings to attend and spouses to appease and dogs to feed. (Also, we should feed our children occasionally.)

We can’t always get to everything on the to do list, and the fact of the matter is, green roofs often take the hit when it comes to schedule rearrangements.

Sometimes for months. Or years.

The problem with that is, you could be wasting a huge amount of money on energy costs and setting yourself up for big problems later.

So just how do green roofs and stewardship work together, and how does regular oversight reduce energy costs? Let’s take a look.

What Is Stewardship?


How Does Regular Stewardship Impact Energy Costs? | Creating a real partnership between green roof and people is crucial to save on energy costs.First, a brief crash course in stewardship.

Although people often confuse the two words, stewardship is distinct from maintenance in that it involves ongoing partnership between green roofer and green roof.

Maintenance, on the other hand, connotes an inflexible, never-changing routine that may or may not meet the green roof’s needs at any given time.

With this mindset, you risk neglecting the roof, missing small issues and creating large ones unintentionally.

For a green roof to operate at peak efficiency, you need an expert up on the roof at minimum twice a year, or better yet, 3-6 times.

Only then can you ensure your green roof is healthiest, coolest and most efficient, and only then can you reap the following energy savings.

So, just how do they do the job? Here are three major ways.


1. Green Roofs Help Electronics Work More Efficiently


Truthfully, green roofs do not in themselves act as great insulators. Because they are wet much of the time – a necessity in order to manage stormwater effectively – they conduct thermal energy well, both hot and cold.

However, green roofs do provide one important service to electronics: They help keep the surrounding environment cool. The cooler and environment, the better electronic systems will run. By keeping a rooftop consistently lower-temperature, you provide a cost savings of 10-15 percent to HVACs, photovoltaic panels and other systems on rooftops, as well as the floor below.

Pretty cool, huh?

… Sorry. Couldn’t help it.

In all seriousness, if it costs you thousands of dollars to heat and cool an upper floor (or in the case of large buildings, much more), then this means an attendant savings of hundreds or thousands as well.

2. Green Roofs Reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect


How Does Regular Stewardship Impact Energy Costs? | Green roofs help to keep the city cool, which saves on energy costs across the board.

On a macro scale, green roofs help combat the urban heat island effect as well.

This is the tendency for the impermeable surfaces in cities – streets, sidewalks, rooftops, walls, parking lots, other cement and asphalt structures – to absorb heat throughout the day and hold onto it at night.

That means our cities are as much as 5 degrees hotter than surrounding countryside during the day, and up to 22 degrees hotter at night.

That’s a big difference, and leads to a lot of A/C use that might not be necessary otherwise.

With green roofs helping to combat that, both through evapotranspiration and through reflecting heat, we can substantially reduce those costs.

Of course, this only happens if your plants are healthy and your systems sound. As soon as your roof goes brown, say goodbye to those benefits. That’s why stewardship matters so much.

Oh, and did we mention it can keep you out of trouble in a big way?

3. Green Roofs Stewardship Catches Problems Before They Become Nightmares


It’s normal for things to break down.

On a rooftop, that means cracking asphalt due to temperature shifts or plant roots. It means clogged drains. It means malfunctioning HVAC units. It means broken belts on cooling towers.

Like cancer, these usually aren’t a big deal when caught early.

Also like cancer, they can become devastating if left too long.

Green roof experts know to look for such issues. We check the roof membrane, flashing details, drains, terminations and other components to ensure they’re all in working order. If there’s a problem, you’ll find out in time and can save thousands of dollars fixing energy systems … as long as you have regular stewardship, that is.

Want to learn more about keeping your green roof in good shape, and thereby saving moolah on energy?

Ecogardens would love to help. With 30 years’ experience stewarding systems, we can make sure your system is in peak condition … and your bank account is as happy as possible.

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Topics: Stewardship

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