As our cities grow warmer because of climate change, green roofs and walls can relieve stifling urban conditions especially in our relentless Australian summers.
To better understand the energy benefits of a rooftop garden, it’s important to understand the concept of an urban heat island, the increase in temperature that’s found in virtually all urban areas. Research shows solar radiation warms up concrete, asphalt and other man-made materials much faster and hotter than it warms trees, plants, and greenery. The result is a big zone of hot air – a heat island – surrounding urban environments year-round.
If you’ve been unlucky enough to have to go into a roof space on a hot day, you’ll know just how extreme the temperatures can get up there. So one of the benefits of a green roof is to provide a thick layer of insulation for your building. It works both ways, helping to shade and protect the building from the heat of the summer sun, but also creating a buffer for the colder months as well. This all adds up to savings on your energy bills as you won’t need to run the AC or heating as much to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
Green roofs also help to slow to stop stormwater runoff, with the plants absorbing the moisture to sustain themselves. Some green roof designs, collect rainwater to use later for irrigating the garden, or to help slow and filter stormwater by using porous paving made from river pebbles. This all helps to reduce the stormwater runoff our cities need to deal with, and helps to keep our waterways cleaner.
growing research points to the health benefits of greenery in our built environments. Biophilia is the term used to express the idea that seeking a connection to nature is an innate need which can also contribute to our mental and physical well-being. It has been said that Even a 40-second ‘green micro-break’ can increase worker attention spans and reduce fatigue.
We are proud to have been given numerous opportunities throughout the country to maintain our cities rooftop gardens making a difference to urban footprints with not only the environmental impacts but also the mental health benefits they contribute to our communities.