Topic 1

Increasingly, society is starting to recognize the benefits of creating a green roof.

As it was been mentioned in previous modules, a green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane.

Easy to maintain and stunningly attractive, a green roof also supports abundant wildlife and can even have an insulating effect on a structure.

The benefits of green roofs include:


amenity space


air quality

thermal performance

urban agriculture

sound insulation


Further on, each of the benefits listed above will be duscussed in more detail.


Green roofs can provide important refuges for wildlife in urban areas. Research in Switzerland and the UK has demonstrated that green roofs can provide important refuges for rare invertebrate populations.


Green roofs can significantly reduce the surface run off volumes and rates of rainfall leaving roofs. As a source control mechanism in the sustainable urban drainage system, green roofs can help reduce flash floods caused by intense rainfall events. This will become increasingly important as the climate change continuous to show indicators of concern.

Urban Agriculture

Urban rooftop food growing can be exploited for roofs, which are strong enough provide a space for agricultural plants. Although many large flat roofs may not have the loading capabilities to hold food growing, some roofs can be used for this purpose as well as many balconies in are urban areas.

Sound Insulation

The combination of soil, plants and trapped layers of air within green roof systems can act as a sound insulation barrier. Sound waves are absorbed, reflected or deflected. The growing medium tends to block lower sound frequencies whilst the plants block higher frequencies.

Thermal Performance

Green roofs  have  been shown to significantly reduce the need for air conditioning in summer and can provide a degree of insulation in winter

Air Quality

Airborne particles and pollutants are filtered from the atmosphere by the substrates and vegetation on a green roof.

Amenity Space

In dense urban environments there is often a lack of green space for residents. Roof gardens and roof top parks provide important green spaces to improve the quality of life for urban residents.