A Green Roof or Living Roof (also referred to as Eco-Roofs) is partially or completely covered with vegetation planted over a waterproofing membrane. A Green Roofing System effectively utilizes the natural functions of plants to filter water and treat air in urban and suburban landscapes. The modern trend started when green roofs were developed in Germany in the 1960s, and has since spread to many countries. Today green roofs are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, although still not as common as in Europe.

The Green Roofing System. Combining the waterproofing power of TPO roofing membrane with the natural beauty of hearty vegetation décor, your roof can have the best of both worlds: green and durable. Green Roofs not only save energy, but they offer a whole host of related benefits


With the initial cost of installing a Green Roof in mind, there are many financial benefits that accompany green roofing.

  • Green Roofing can extend the lifespan of a roof by over 200% by covering the waterproofing membrane with growing medium and vegetation, this shields the membrane from ultra-violet radiation and physical damage.
  • Reduction in energy use is an important property of green roofing. The lush greenery absorbs virtually all of the heat, creating natural insulation and superb temperature control. Buildings retain their heat during the cooler winter months while reflecting and absorbing solar radiation during the summer, allowing buildings to remain cooler.
  • Tax benefits, depending on the region in which a green roof is installed, incentives may be available in the form of storm water tax reduction, grants, or rebates.
  • They can be combined with a deck system to create not only an energy-saving system, but an outdoor deck, patio, or other functional area- it's like adding an extra floor to your property at a fraction of the normal cost.
  • Garden Roofing Systems are quickly and easily installed, which means less disruption to your business or your tenants.

Besides offering a natural habitat creation for wildlife Green Roofs have many other advantages towards the environment, such as:

  • Filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater.
  • Through their ability to sequester carbon, carbon is the main component of plant matter and is naturally absorbed by plant tissue. retain pollutants in their soil.
  • Help to insulate a building for sound; the soil helps to block lower frequencies and the plants block higher frequencies.
  • If installed correctly many living roofs can contribute to LEED points
  • Increase agricultural space
  • With green roofs, water is stored by the substrate and then taken up by the plants from where it is returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation.
  • Not only retain rainwater, but also moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for any of the water that happens to run off. As for runoff, green roofs decrease the total amount of water runoff and It has been found that they can retain up to 75% of rainwater, gradually releasing it back into the atmosphere.
  • Helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect by reducing cooling (by evaporative cooling) loads on a building anywhere from fifty to ninety percent (especially if it is glassed in so as to act as a terrarium and passive solar heat reservoir). Combating the urban heat island effect is another reason for creating a green roof. Green roofs are becoming increasingly common in Chicago, as well as Atlanta, Portland, and other United States cities, where their use is encouraged by regulations to combat the urban heat island effect.
  • Decrease stress of the people living around the roof by providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape

There are two types of Green Roofs:

Intensive Roofs - which are thicker, with a minimum depth of 12.8 cm (5.0 in), and can support a wider variety of plants but are heavier and require more maintenance.

Extensive Roofs - which are shallow, ranging in depth from 2 cm (0.79 in) to 12.7 cm (5.0 in), lighter than intensive green roofs, and require minimal maintenance.

A success story:

The largest Green Roof in New York City was installed in midtown Manhattan atop the United States Postal Service's Morgan Processing and Distribution Center. Construction on the 109,000 sq. ft. project began in September 2008, and was finished and dedicated in July 2009. Covered in native vegetation and having an expected lifetime of fifty years, this green roof will not only save the USPS approximately $30,000 a year in heating and cooling costs, but will also significantly reduce the amount of storm water contaminants entering the municipal water system.


The list of benefits for garden roofs is long. But before you select a garden roof for your property, be sure you avoid the common pitfalls and hassles associated with many garden roof systems:

The main disadvantage of green roofs is that the initial cost of installing a green roof can be double that of a normal roof. Depending on what kind of green roof it is, the maintenance costs could be higher, but some types of green roof have little or no ongoing cost. Standard maintenance includes removing debris, controlling weeds, deadhead trimming, checking moisture levels, and fertilizing.Some kinds of green roofs also place higher demands on the waterproofing system of the structure, both because water is retained on the roof and due to the possibility of roots penetrating the waterproof membrane.

The additional mass of the soil substrate and retained water places a large strain on the structural support of a building. This makes it unlikely for intensive green roofs to become widely implemented due to a lack of buildings that are able to support such a large amount of added weight as well as the added cost of reinforcing buildings to be able to support such weight.

Complicated, ineffective designs - Garden roofs can have up to 8 different components (not including the roofing membranes!), that can be time-consuming and difficult to install. If installed improperly, the result can be poor performance or even system failure.

Multiple guarantee sources - If you have a problem, who do you turn to? The roof manufacturer? The plant supplier? The contractors? Will they even be in business in a few years, much less in 20 plus.

Multiple unaffiliated contractors - Most garden roof suppliers utilize different installers (roofing contractors, landscapers, etc.), which can lead to longer installation time and business interruption.

By utilizing Pinnacle A Roofing Company's expertise and professionalism, we can help our clients mitigate these issues. All while completing a Green Roof that will not only look magnificent, but also reduce your energy costs substantially.