Are Green Roofs the Environmental Answer for Denver?

Updated: Aug 16, 2018


Is a green roof a viable option for your building? We’ve compiled a few of the major pros and cons involved in installing and maintaining green roofs to give you an accurate idea of what it would mean to undertake such a task.

Due to the newly passed Denver Green Roof Initiative, Denver buildings built after January 1, 2018, and are 25,000 square feet or larger will be required to have green roofs. At Martinson, we try to do our best to improve and sustain the environment as well as aid our customers in making the best possible decisions for their businesses. For that reason, below is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages involved in creating and maintaining a green roof for your building. 


The Advantages of Having a Green Roof

Energy Efficiency.

Green roofs save energy and reduce cost by preventing heat from escaping all through the winter months and keeping cool air in during the hot summer.

Insulation from outside noise.

Apart from the insulation mentioned above, a further benefit of green roofs is the fact that they provide additional insulation from outside noise because the vegetation is better at absorbing that noise than traditional roofs.

Extra roof protection.

A green roof actually has the ability to preserve your roof and prolong its lifespan by providing an extra layer of protection from the punishing elements.


Improved air quality.

A garden roof’s vegetation is effective in eliminating air pollutants and greenhouse gasses from the air. Not only does this result in a cleaner environment, it also means your tenants and customers would be breathing in cleaner air.

Wildlife Habitat.

Another environmental benefit provided by green roofs is the fact that each new green roof is another potential habitat for wildlife that might otherwise find little in the way of refuge in a hostile urban environment.


Green Roof Drawbacks


Installation Expenses

It probably comes as no surprise that the additional weight involved in placing a garden on the top of a roof would require subsequent support and would result in substantial costs. There are also the costs of installing an irrigational system and waterproofing the roof.


Maintenance/Upkeep

Another disadvantage of having a green roof is the upkeep. It hardly needs to be said that gardening is a necessity with green roofs. Additionally, there’s the danger of leaking and all the resulting costs and headaches.

Although the pros seem to significantly outweigh the cons, the costs that come with installing and maintaining a green roof for your building should not be played down. That being said, this list demonstrates that green roofs appear to have the potential to substantially reduce your carbon footprint along with some of your building’s maintenance costs.

Sources: denvergreenroof.org

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