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Charleston Roofing: Article About Gardens On The Roof

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A green roof is not just green in the environmentally friendly sense, it is genuinely green because there are actual growing plants forming part of the roofing fabric. According to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the measurable acreage of green roofs grew by 30 percent in 2010. These roofs make such a positive contribution to civil health that local authorities are offering incentives to builders who include them in their projects.

This emerging trend is not limited to elaborate rooftop "parks" above major edifices like hotels and city halls; residential homeowners are implementing them as well, particularly in city centers where garden space is at a premium. Not only does this increased land area allow homeowners an extra patch for growing vegetables, it provides additional habitat for birds and insects.

With the right plant species, it is possible to attract bees, whose numbers are dwindling dangerously. Many people are not aware that for every three bites of food we eat, one of them depends on bees or other pollinators. This alone is reason enough to consider this option for Charleston roofing systems.

Green roofs have also been proven to act as passive cooling systems on top of buildings. A conventional roof in the middle of a hot summer can increase in temperature by 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The green roof on top of Chicago City Hall, however, can be up to 8 degrees cooler than surrounding structures. This is called the urban heat-island effect. If every building in a metropolis had a green roof, the temperatures of entire cities could come down by 7 degrees. In addition to Chicago, cities like Portland and Atlanta are taking an interest in green roofs.

Another area in which green roofs have proven themselves to be desirable is in the management of stormwater. Research has shown that as much as 75 percent of rainwater can be absorbed in this way and released back into the environment in a controlled fashion by condensation and transpiration.

A green roof need not be high-maintenance. A beginner might be advised to plant care-free sedum at first just to get used to the idea. The first thing a property owner who is contemplating such a step should do is consult with a structural engineer. Not only does the structure have to support the growth medium, infrastructure and the plants themselves, allowance also has to be made for the weight of that 75 percent of rainwater mentioned earlier.

Green roofs have been a popular feature in Norway for hundreds of years. Their popularity in the rest of Europe has been steadily increasing over the past 30 years. In the not too distant future, they may be as common in the United States as shingles, shakes and slate roofs are now.

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