GREEN ROOFING: The Topic of the Future and Immensely Valuable
Sustainability and ecology are becoming increasingly important in modern architecture. At the same time, urban planning solutions are urgently required to counteract the consequences of climate change such as heavy rainfall events and overheating of cities. This means that designers and architects will have to focus even more on roofs and podium decks with regard to rainwater management. It is necessary to increasingly specify blue/green roofs such as the ZinCo system build-up “Stormwater Management Roof”. This system build-up can not only store large volumes of rainwater and release them again over pre determined periods but also reduces the urban heat island effect by the greened areas installed on top which can range from sedum and biodiverse roofs to intensive roof gardens or landscaped podiums.
Apart from counteracting climate change by flood protection and cooling measures for cities, the conservation and recreation of biodiversity in nature, is another major objective of a future-oriented, ecological and sustainable environmental policy. That’s why biodiverse green roofs nowadays become more frequently specified in urban planning as they are able to provide replacement habitats for flora and fauna which have been lost to building development and sealed ground.
The Environment Act became law in Nov, 2021 and the new Biodiversity Net Gain Regulations should come into force during 2023 at the latest. Pure Sedum roofs are unlikely to deliver enough gain on their own and so this means that biodiverse green roofs will play an increasingly important role in landscaping. ZinCo can provide the necessary system build-ups and expertise on how biodiversity can be substantially increased on green roofs.
Another green roof design that particularly stands out from the point of view of sustainability is the combination of green roofs with solar systems. With the ZinCo “Solarvert system“ considerable synergies can be achieved by combining environmentally friendly energy generation and ecologically valuable green roofs. This is currently leading to an enormous increase in demand for such biosolar roofs.
In addition, to these specific ZinCo green roof solutions which focus on mitigating and counteracting the effects of climate change, green roofs have always provided many ecological and economical benefits. No other building concept creates a comparable variety of positive effects for buildings, people and the environment as green roofs. The contribution of roofs to sustainable building in the 21st century and their diversity of use are almost immeasurable.
In addition to the added value of quality of life through a wonderful appearance, green roofs offer tangible and measurable benefits such as the protection of the building fabric. Green roofs extend the life of the roof waterproof membrane many times over because they protect it from climatic and weather influences such as UV radiation, extreme heat and cold. The green roof structure also improves structural sound insulation, shields electromagnetic radiation and acts as additional insulation, which means less heating demand in winter and a measurable cooling effect in summer. In addition, plants bind fine dust and pollutants. The water storage and evaporation capacity of plants also has a positive effect on the microclimate and this natural effect can also be enhanced by a special system design.
For almost 50 years, the name ZinCo has been synonymous with durable and reliable green roof systems for all types of use and roof pitches up to 35°. Whether it's a low-maintenance ecological compensation area with a high level of biodiversity, a fascinating roof garden or landscaped podium deck with walking, driving and play areas, or the valuable combination with solar installations – the architectural highlight of green roofs offers an infinite number of aspects of sustainability. They all want and need to be used in order to build ecologically and future-oriented.
So Green Roofing definetely is a topic for the future.
Author: Fabian Kaiser, ZinCo Green Roof Systems Ltd.