Why Green Roofs? Growing + Healing Green Systems (Infographic)

Posted by Ecogardens



Understanding green roofs starts with understanding their power to heal our cities – and what happens when we don’t steward them carefully enough.

 (PSST! Download our free green roof stewardship infographic to share with colleagues and friends!)

One of the questions we get most often here at Ecogardens is Why green roofs?

And we get it. Most people aren’t as familiar as we are with the stormwater retention benefits of an extensive green roof, of the pollution-fighting power of plant roots, or the cooling effects of a blanket of green atop a formerly bare cement rooftop.

The good news is, more people are learning about green roofs today – and getting interested in the possibilities they wield for a healthier tomorrow.

In this infographic, we take a look at the explosion in green roof square footage across the US and Canada in the last few years, their incredible ROI-capturing power, their energy savings and property improvement value, and more.

Check it out below!

Green Roof Stewardship

Taking the Right Steps to Protect Our Green Roofs


Before we can grab all the values we talk about above, we have to monitor and steward our rooftops – otherwise, they fail. Without proper first aid in time, they will straight up die.

No one wants a dead roof, friends. No one.

Yet this is a problem not enough people are talking about. With the massive drive to install green roofs, it is becoming more obvious than ever that we lack the rules and regulations needed to keep them alive.

Despite the common belief that green roofs “take care of themselves,” that’s not the case. Like any other living system, big or small – from a garden to a potted plant – green roofs need care. They exist in demanding environments, and without help, they can’t stand up to the various vicissitudes of their environments.

These include:

  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Insect pressures
  • Animal predation
  • Drainage issues
  • Component failure
  • Nutrient loss

... and more. To address each of these, human help is needed. And since we put those systems there in the first place, why would be begrudge our green roofs that?

How to Steward a Green Roof


Next up is the question of exactly how we should take care of rooftop systems once installed.

The answer varies depending on whether the roof is healthy. If so, you need to partner with a professional green roof steward to care for the system over time. That means amending growing media, watching for weeds and insects, making sure there are no plant bullies, and so forth.

If the roof is not in the state you expect, you likely need a bit (or a lot) of green roof first aid. That’s when a professional comes in to assess the system, identify the issues, and fix them. Afterwards, it’s important to put a stewardship plan in place so the roof never faces the same issues again. We’ve saved more than one green roof in our day, so we can confidently say that it’s not impossible, but it is critical.

Remember: green roofs will be here for us if we’re here for them, and that starts with education. Take the time to read through that infographic again.

Or you can feel free to download it and take it with you. Learn more about what happens when we don’t maintain green roofs effectively, as well as how you can avoid that fate today! And as ever, please get in touch if you want to learn more.



Topics: Green Roofs

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