When you see green grass and foliage sprouting from the side of a home or even along the roof top you usually don’t stop and stare. More than likely if the home is occupied by an eco-conscience individual the foliage cascading down the side of the house was strategically placed for the benefit of saving energy and cooling the home.
If you are new to the term Green Roof or Green Living Walls then let me be the first to introduce you to another fascinating way to decorate the exterior of your home all while going green.
Green Roofs and Green living walls are an extension to a new or existing roof or the creation of contained green space on top of a man made structure. The definition of a Green Roof is clearly described on The Daily Green, “Green roof involves a high-quality water proofing and root repellant system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium and plants. Green roof systems may be modular, with drainage layers, filter cloth, growing media and plants already prepared in movable, interlocking grids, or, each component may be installed separately”.
In addition to being visually appealing and in many cases a beautiful display of art work green roofs and living walls have many benefits.
Here are a few benefits on an Environmental level:
A 2005 study by Brad Bass of the University of Toronto showed that green roofs can also reduce heat loss and energy consumption in winter conditions.
- Reduce cooling
- Reduce storm water run off
- Create a Natural Habitat for Urban wilderness –plants, insects and animals that can withstand pollution and the elements of an Urban society
- An increase in agricultural space
Here are a few of the financial benefits:
- An increase in Real Estate value
- Reduction in energy usage
- Storm water tax reduction
- Federal and local tax incentives
Cities Alive is an organization that has been around for Ten years. Cities Alive helps others share in the benefits of living green with in their home space. Cities Alive will be celebrating the organizations 10 year anniversary in the city where it all was started Chicago. If you would like to take in the conference it will be held on October 17th – 20th of 2012. If you are interested in learning more about creating a green roof for your home please check out their website at cities. More information on registration, hotel, media and sponsorship is also available on the site.