Living roofs may seem like just the latest green fad in building design and maintenance, but the idea is actually built on age-old concepts that go back at least as far as Babylon's famous hanging gardens, which were built around 500 B.C. Green roofs have recently come into favor among modern architects and commercial building owners for commercial roofing. If you're considering replacing a roof on an existing commercial structure or are in the process of planning the design of a new building, following are eight great reasons to consider going green.
People who create green rooftop spaces on commercial buildings often open them up for use by members of the community, or they may choose to limit access to those who are employed in their building. Some commercial building owners offer their living roof space to municipalities that host free summer concerts, for instance. Either way, allowing the green space to be used by others helps create a sense of community.
Birds, Bees, and Butterflies
Your feathered friends and their buzzing and fluttering insect counterparts will appreciate a place to pollinate and breed in relative safety. Birds will be free from the dangers posed by marauding felines, and bees and butterflies will gain much-needed habitat.
Creating and cultivating a beautiful rooftop garden and renting it out for weddings and other events is an excellent way to bring in some extra revenue. Rooftop garden weddings are becoming one of the venues of choice for couples who want a unique venue in which to exchange their vows. Because rooftop gardens are still relatively rare in many parts of the country, you may wind up with
Federal tax incentives are available through at least 2106 for those who implement green technologies on new or existing structures. State and local tax benefits may also be available depending on location.
Loan and Grants
You might also be able to receive funding in the form of loans and grants for the purpose of crafting a beautiful rooftop garden! Potential funding sources include national as well as state and regional programs. Your commercial roofing contractor is an excellent place to start in your search for funding programs specific to your particular location and situation, so don't hesitate to ask for funding suggestions.
Living roofs will provide insulation from hot summer sun as well as prevent precious heat from escaping during the cold season. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that green roofs save approximately $200,000 during their lifetimes and that energy costs comprise two-thirds of those savings.
Roof gardens make excellent environments for growing food. Because you'll be selecting and supplying your own soil, you won't have to baby along poor soils that lack nutrients, and rooftop gardens generally receive more sunlight than their counterparts on the ground. Perhaps best of all, you won't have to worry about typical garden pests such as deer, rabbits, and racoons slipping in during darkness and devouring the fruits of your labor.
Aesthetics and Recognition
There's no denying the aesthetic appeal of a well-maintained rooftop garden, and this appeal will work in your favor in more ways than one. Not only will you have the personal satisfactions of knowing that your commercial building contributes to the overall visual appeal of your community, but the roof garden will make it into a recognizable landmark, which could have an excellent effect on your bottom line.
For instance, if you rent out retail or business space in your building, potential tenants will be significantly attracted to a building with a living roof, and in turn, their customers may be more likely to patronize them due to the recognition factor and attractiveness of the building.