The Windy City is known for its towering skyscrapers, extensive suburbs, and urban landscape, but a recent trend brings Chicago back into the environmental spotlight. Over 500 buildings have invested in green roofs, building rooftops that are covered with vegetation. The lush and vibrant plants are not only aesthetically-pleasing but come with multiple social, economic, and environmental benefits for the urban and suburban homeowner.
Green roofs are an extension of the original roof with additional drainage systems to allow for the growing of plants. It is a unique element of a home or building rather than an interactive living space. Roof decks and roof gardens are outdoor living and working spaces with a design build. They are similar to outdoor terraces that are used for relaxation, social gatherings, and family time.
Green roofs increase the value of a property.
Vegetation now covers over 5 million square feet of roof space in Chicago alone. By utilizing every aspect of the building, including the roof, homeowners and businesses have extra space to use for amenities, aesthetic views, and social spaces. Many green roofs are transformed into roof decks or rooftop gardens, areas that people can access and enjoy.
Green roofs also protect the physical building from weather damage and sun radiation.The thick garden cover envelops the roof with a layer of protection and a waterproof membrane. Then the plants soak up rain and prevent runoff from entering the city’s sewers and water infrastructures. The beautiful gardens also insulate the building, so you can stay warm in winter and cool in summer. This insulation effect saves energy while creating more green space in the city.
Green roofs help the environment.
Every green roof is unique in size and design with different types of vegetation filling the surfaces. These small spaces have a big impact – green roofs can become homes for many species trying to escape the urban landscape down below. Many bird species take refuge and nest in low-maintenance green roofs which increases their survival and improves the biodiversity of the space.
Ever wonder why the city becomes so hot in the summer? The sun heats up dark and hard surfaces, like concrete, which warms up the area and causes us to spend more energy to keep cool. This is also known as the urban heat island effect. Green roof plants can cool down the space through evapotranspiration and reduce our overall use of valuable energy. Plants also filter the air of pollutants, so we can breathe cleaner and better in the city.
Green roofs bring life to a space.
You can connect with nature through an outdoor living space that brings a touch of nature back to the city and your home. For businesses, outdoor gardens provide your employees with a creative area to socialize and boost their productivity. In the city of Chicago, many business can earn LEED certification and tax incentives for their green roof efforts.
At Scott Byron and Co., you can design your green roof to fit your personality and lifestyle. Green roofs improve your view over the bustling city without compromising your valuable indoor living space. Whether you want to bask in the sun on an outdoor terrace surrounded by flowers or fill your vacant roof with diverse vegetation, your custom design goals will be fulfilled. Our city continues to be a leader in green roof initiatives, and we can bring this outdoor experience to your rooftop.