Development of agglomerations is extremely rapid. It directly influences the way people live. New buildings made of glass and steel are being erected, modern and comfortable means of transport are being introduced and multi-level communication arteries are being created. This expansion causes that space for green squares, not to mention parks, is being restricted. Therefore, it is of no surprise, that people more and more often look for a contact with nature and green areas. They are ready to abandon all the facilities which agglomerations offer them. That’s the main reason why architects, landscape designers and urban planners have been looking for many years for solutions which could make the living space more accessible and human-friendly. Bringing plants to the dull spaces such as walls and roofs of buildings turned out to be a great idea. Therefore, the concept of green buildings, as a more ecological and functional living and working space, has gained popularity and started to develop.
Green roof systems are an attractive, ecological, and practical way to add a bit of natural charm to the urban landscape. Green is calming, makes us feel better. Aesthetic features are also not without significance, the green roof is an ingenious decoration of each facility and has a positive impact on its image. It brings positive associations with today’s popular, eco-friendly lifestyle and it really matters when it comes to protecting the environment. Suffice it to mention the removal of air pollution in major cities. Unfortunately, there is more and more pollution – and fewer and fewer large green areas.
Let’s also not forget that green roofs are a great place to relax in the open air. They are a comfortable and effective solution for the organisation of additional leisure space in a lot of public facilities and private houses. Moreover, in the case of green roof design, a professional company will be able to create true miracles, including all kinds of alleys, rock gardens and streams. However, these are not all benefits from the use of green roof systems.
Covering roofs with vegetation is no longer a matter of investors’ wish. More and more often, it is a matter of specific requirements. On a legal basis, green roof can be treated as an equivalent of a construction space. Green roofs have gained more importance in the face of decentralized rainwater management. Environment protection makes sense only if it has a continuous character. Therefore, it is crucial to continue creating green roofs.
- Green roofs help to make urban climate milder, especially in case when it is drastically different from climate of the surrounding areas. Walls and roofs of buildings show heat retention properties. This phenomenon is referred to as “urban heat island”. It means that in centers of big agglomerations, the temperature of air rises by approximately 1- 2°C degrees. Sometimes it can even rise by 10°C. At the same time, humidity drops. Therefore, vegetation on green roofs is necessary because it plays an important role in creating something that can be called an “air pillow”. This process takes place because water cumulated in plants evaporates and the sunlight is reflected from their surface. “Air pillow” therefore, means higher humidity and lower temperature. For instance, a roof covered with bituminous mass, in summer heats even up to 60-70°C, and a green roof, on the other hand, only up to 25-40°C. These numbers speak for themselves. Additionally, only 2 centimeters of green layer can retain up to 60% of rainwater. Later, rainwater evaporates so humidity rises. Moreover, green roofs facilitate operation of urban wastewater system. They increase production of oxygen and reduce amount of CO2 in the air. It is extremely interesting that during one year, a green roof with an area of 15 m2 is capable of producing oxygen for as many as 10 people, and at the same time to absorb 10 – 20% of pollutants and gases from air.
- Green roofs reduce traffic noise, thanks to reflecting and partially absorbing approx. 20 – 30 dB.
Green roofs enable giving space an architectonic shape. Moreover, they create opportunity to hide installation equipment on the roofs. They enable creation of homogenous designs thanks to mixing plants in different parts of a building– starting from indoor plants, plants on terraces or roofs to end with plants on the area surrounding the building. Unique compositions make the property stand out.
- Green areas can be regained. As a result, full use of a small lots in city centers is possible without interference in urban master planning.
- Green roofs offer an additional protection and thermal isolation of the roof. Roof covering is protected from external damage, such as: damage caused by fowl, by wind and sunlight.