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Can Green Roofs Help To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?

March 20th, 2020

Global warming is one of the most significant challenges facing our civilisation. If we are not able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the Earth will experience a significant warming trend that will put a great deal of strain on our infrastructure and institutions.

While much collective action needs to be taken, there are things that we can all do on an individual basis that can help.

Making Property Modifications

For example, making some simple modifications to your home can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. This figure represents the amount of carbon dioxide that you are personally responsible for being emitted each year. A good way to start making a difference is by having a green roof installed on your home.

With such a roof, you replace the standard shingles or tiles with green plants. This is not as simple as just tossing some grass seed on the roof of your home, of course, but the basic principle is the same. There are a number of ways in which green roofs can help combat global warming.

Increased Energy Efficiency

First of all, such a roof helps to make your home significantly more energy-efficient. Most asphalt shingles, for example, are dark grey or even black, meaning that they absorb a lot of heat from the sunlight. This warms up your home, meaning that your cooling system has to use a lot more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your house.

Green plants absorb sunlight and use it to produce food. They also reflect many frequencies of light rather than absorbing them. This helps keep things at an even temperature inside your home so that your HVAC system does not have to run as frequently and use up as much energy.

Offsetting The Urban Heat Island Effect

Green roofs can also help to offset the urban heat island effect. Because cities are full of roads, roofs, and parking lots, they tend to absorb a lot of sunlight, making them several degrees warmer than the surrounding country. By putting a green roof in place, you can help to offset this effect and start to cool your city back down again to a more reasonable temperature.

These are just a few of the many ways in which a green roof can help you reduce your personal carbon footprint. Having one installed can also save you money, making this a win-win situation for both you and the planet.

Wallbarn presents the new M-Tray®. It has been developed and further improved in order to make sedum and wildflower green roofs easier to install, with less disruption to both the plants and the structure. It is designed to also give a more seamless and luxurious finish and to provide an instant green roof.

Green roofs, which with the M-Tray® can be retro-fitted to existing structures, take up no ground space. Originally introduced for aesthetic reasons, they offer a huge range of additional benefits including building insulation leading to energy savings, reduce temperatures outside by absorbing sunlight, and mitigate the urban heat island effect. They also contribute to stormwater management by soaking up the rain, and reduce noise and increase urban biodiversity.

But the latest studies find green roofs and walls are also valuable for removing air pollution; they can reduce nitrogen dioxide by up to 35%, and make 50% cuts in the small particulates that damage lungs.