Most people don’t think of a roof top as a highly valuable real estate asset. With the growth of the green roof industry – up 28.5% in North America in 2010 – that’s all changing.
A green roof sits on top of a conventional rooftop, transcending it with a bevy of benefits. A green roof contributes to biodiversity, can help combat global warming, manages pollution-causing stormwater, extends the life of a conventional roof and is simply gorgeous, especially for those lucky enough to have a view of them.
What exactly is a green roof?
A green roof system is a vegetated, living extension of conventional roof structure. It is a highly innovative system that includes a waterproof membrane, a root barrier, an insulating layer, a drainage system, lightweight, engineered growing medium and plants.
Case Study: SoCal Green Roof
One of Greensulate’s most recent green roof installations took place on a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, California - one of the first desert green roofs in existence in the U.S.
Much like Los Angeles, this area experiences extreme heat during the day, and plummeting night time temperatures. This fluctuation in temperature:
- Taxes the building’s heating and cooling systems
- Puts great stress on the roof’s membrane
- Eventually breaks down the roof’s membrane thanks to the lethal combo of UV rays from the sun and the expansion and contraction of the roof.
A green roof is the natural solution to these problems. A green roof:
- Adds an average R-Factor (insulation property) of 7 to the roof
- Cools the air that is being ingested by the AC units
- Completely shields the membrane from the sun
- Decreases the temperature fluctuation at the roof’s surface
Locally Sourced & Native Vegetation
To achieve the desired level of efficiency for the Palm Springs green roof – while maintaining a good aesthetic – and ensuring the health of the roof long into the future, proper plant choice was imperative. The mid-century modern house was capped with a blend of Cactus, Ice Plants (Cotyledon), Euphorbia, Sempervivum and Sedum. All of this locally sourced vegetation is very well adapted to deal with the desert heat, able to withstand long droughts, and even absorb moisture from the air.
Want to learn more? Send me an email at
to set up a call or with any questions. And look for updates on this Palm Springs house as well as all of Greensulate’s stunning rooftop projects on our blog, Live From the Roof, and on our facebook page too.
Greensulate is a woman-owned business that designs, engineers, installs and maintains green roof systems nationwide on commercial, industrial and residential properties, nationwide. Learn more about Greensulate at www.greensulate.com.