Gardens

Green roofs are the future

In the last three decades, green roofs have become an important component for sustainable urban development. Their striking economical and ecological advantages, along with growing environmental awareness, have made them popular. At present, green roofs and rooftop gardens can be found in most big cities around the world, benefiting the urban environment and its inhabitants.

With going green being the fad, the concept of green buildings is gaining acceptance in metro cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Naturally, green roofs are being adopted by these buildings. State governments are also coming up with a green building code, which will make it mandatory to implement requirements like rainwater harvesting, vegetation, and so on, for which green roofs could be the solution.

With increased focus on energy efficiency, the trend for green buildings is on the rise. The focus on energy efficiency has impacted the roofing industry too.

Roofing, after all, plays a major role in the construction of a building and in the era of energy efficiency, roofing companies have come up with advanced and sustainable technologies.

Green roofs or ‘terrace gardens’ add to the aesthetics of a structure and at the same time can facilitate an efficient rain water harvesting system and recharge the ground water table. Green roofs benefit biodiversity, storm water management and reduce the heat island effect.

People are now demanding terrace gardens in apartments owing to increased competition and increased marketing budgets of the builders.

Super-sized terraces with large semi-open spaces that can be used as sit-outs, private green spaces or party areas are the latest fancy. Having a terrace with additions like hanging creepers, drip irrigated gardens or even just a slanting roof with hanging plants is much-desired.

Today, customers are conscious of their environment and want the convenience of an apartment as well as the luxury of a garden terrace where they can entertain guests, breathe fresh, and exercise. Green terraces are becoming a regular feature especially in premium apartments priced between Rs. 75 lakh and Rs. 2 crore. The longevity of these roofs is no less than 3 to 5 decades and sometimes, even more. Especially in warmer countries like India, a well-irrigated green roof can provide greater energy savings compared to a cool roof or even an insulated roof.

A typical green roof system comprises two inches of sandy soil topped with the pervious paver blocks, and overlain with a uniform grass sod.

No green roof, however, is maintenance-free. It requires regular irrigation and periodic trimming, weeding, fertilising, termite checks, and so on.

Regular irrigation actually adds to the general cooling of the surrounding and the building. Hence, it is important to identify a sustainable water source, such as treated waste water or harvested rainwater, so that the green roof can be kept moist without compromising the quantity of fresh water available to the building occupants.

Overall, green roofs are a good investment for the future, and although they are quite expensive now, they are likely to become feasible and common.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 11:22:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/gardens/Green-roofs-are-the-future/article10351730.ece

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