Green roofing may seem like a great way to give back to the environment, fit in with nature and set your building apart from others in the area. Before settling on a green roof design, you need to ask yourself if you're willing to work with the roof style and upkeep. Consider a few traits of green roofing to figure out if it's worth your time and resources.

What Is Green Roofing?

Following the trend of other green marketing, a green roof is a roof that incorporates vegetation in its design. A green roof can be simple as a flat lawn on the roof or as complex as an orchard of fruit trees built through the foundation. 

In many cases, the use of a green roof is cosmetic. It looks different and can give home design minds something else to do with their resources. There are a few benefits that can be enjoyed by using the roofing design.

Many roofing types may release some of their materials after years of being in use. Asphalt, for example, can begin to leak grit and create a dirty drip of water that can slowly stunt the growth of vegetation below. This may lead to bald spots in the ground, which can create slip hazards and cause the side of the building to become dirty at a faster rate when water splashes.

With a green room, the soil and roots can hold onto more of the water for a longer period of time. Rainwater can flow at a slower rate to avoid problems with runoff erosion, and chemical deposits are less likely to cause problems with soil behind.

If you live in an urban area, a green roof can assist with reducing the effect of urban heat island; a system of higher temperatures caused by heat-amplifying and redirecting roof materials.

What Kind Of Green Roof Do You Want?

As mentioned earlier, the most basic type of green roof involves planting grasses or other small plants. Green roof planning requires measurement of nourishing soil, grasses and the water expected to be absorbed by the soil and roots. These light-load roofing types are called extensive green roofs. 

There are more involved, heavier types of green roofs called intensive green roofs. These roof types can involve bushes, trees or farm crops sch as corn, tomatoes or tobacco. Because of the increased weight and sometimes uneven weight distribution, different precautions need to be taken.

For roofing types involving trees, you may need to place the root system in the actual ground, then build it through the building structure. This is because some trees can become so heavy that they can eventually crush the roof when allowed to grow. You could also build solid pillars to plant the tree within, then use a horticulturalist's skills to train the roots down the side of the building instead of across the roof.

Contact a roofing professional from a company like Lucas Roofing & Sheet Metal to begin planning your green roof options for practicality and prettiness options.