The Benefits of a Living Roof

A Green Roof or Living Roof Offers Several Financial and Ecological Benefits

Green Roofing

The City of Calgary has been making a concerted effort to encourage and support green roof installations within its urban landscape for the past several years.  In fact, there is evidence that the first public building in the city to support a living roof was Fort Calgary, dating back to 1875, so the concept of green roofing is certainly not new or novel in this community.

A green roof is essentially a rooftop garden that is installed on structures/buildings that have flat roofs, such as commercial, industrial, institutional, and multi-storied residential properties.  Also known as a living roof, it consists of vegetation planted in a growing medium, layered on top of a waterproof membrane.

There are essentially three types of green or living roofs, specifically:

Extensive Green Roofs

  • Depth 2” to 5”
  • Vegetation mostly herbs and mosses
  • Installation cost and maintenance – low

Semi-intensive Green Roofs

  • Depth 5” to 8”
  • Vegetation can include herbs, perennials, grasses, and small shrubs
  • Installation cost and maintenance – moderate

Semi-intensive Green Roofs

  • Depth 8” to 30”
  • Vegetation options – perennials, shrubs, trees, lawns, putting greens, etc.
  • Installation cost and maintenance – high

There are several financial and ecological benefits that can result from the conversion of a flat and often under-utilized roof area to a green or living roof.

Such benefits include:

Ecological Benefits

  • Reduced storm water run-off – more retention, less strain on drainage systems
  • Healthier living and working environments – temperatures kept more moderate
  • Improvement in air quality – vegetation absorbs CO2, reducing carbon footprint
  • Enhanced biodiversity – green roofs sustain wider varieties of plant life and birds
  • Reduction of sound and noise – roof layers and thickness act as a sound barrier
  • Better use of space for recreational, agricultural, amusement purposes/pursuits

Financial Benefits

  • Reduced heating/cooling costs – vegetation provides a natural layer of insulation
  • Extended roof life (estimated at twice the lifespan of more conventional roofing)
  • Less maintenance and/or replacement costs due to less strain on HVAC systems
  • Recycling initiatives – composition of growing mediums, waterproof membranes
  • Enhanced property value – efficiencies can appeal to tenants or potential buyers

The City of Calgary acknowledges and accepts the short-term and long-term impact of these benefits on the environment, and as a result, it has invoked several measures to help property owners and roofing contractors, such as Triumph Roofing, pursue green roofing initiatives.  In most instances, these measures have focused on streamlining and clarifying the permitting process, in order to encourage rather than deter owners and/or contractors with respect to moving forward with the installation of a living roof.

Triumph Roofing in Calgary also recognizes and respects the ecological and financial benefits of green roofing, and is proud to take a leadership role in supporting the city and its property owners with such eco-friendly initiatives.

For more information on green roofs and their installation by the Triumph team, please visit our Solar Green Roof page.

In addition to its green roof installations, Triumph Roofing is committed to sustaining and protecting the environment through such practices as:

  • Adherence to regulations for the disposal of potentially hazardous waste
  • Waste reduction by recycling and/or re-using materials whenever possible
  • Utilizing sustainable products such as Aluminum Composite Panels (ACPs)

To learn more about Triumph’s ongoing efforts to protect the environment, please go to our Protecting Our Enviroment Page.

Interested in helping to reducing the carbon footprint in Calgary?  Call the green roof specialists at Triumph Roofing today at 403-452-4114 to discuss how we might collaborate to protect our environment today and in the future.

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