Various authors have presented general constraints, barriers and limitations in the establishment of green roofs.
Li and Yeung (2014), through a literature review, list the following constraints:
Peck and Callaghan (1999) list four main barriers to green roofing:
Vijayaraghavan (2016) also presents various constraints to the implementation of green roofs such as cost, maintenance, their character as ‘green’, lack of localised research, roof leakage or problems with their ultimate disposal.
We explore more in depth Vijayaraghavan’s (2016) barriers to green roofs.
Green roofs have often been ‘accused’ of being long-term investments with short-term returns. This pertains to their cost.
An additional barrier for the installation of green roofs is what is perceived as their demanding and time-consuming maintenance.
An important question raised by researchers relates to how green are green roofs (Bianchini & Hewage 2012).
Another issue in relation to green roofs is the fact that there is very limited research on local environments.
A well-known assumption in relation to green roof installation is that it enhances the chances of leaking.
It has to be stated nonetheless, that properly designed green roofs are needed in order to avoid structural damage to buildings. Careful assessment by experts, selection of proper components and examination of properties are prerequisite.
A limitation of green roofs not often considered is the ultimate disposal and the concerns it generates in terms of man-power requirements, cost and environmental implications.