The need to be more environmentally friendly in our everyday lives, both at home and in wider society, has led to a number of changes. From an emphasis on recycling to major steps towards reducing carbon emissions, green practice is very much at the forefront of the public consciousness in the developed world today.
Ways in which to remain eco-friendly exist all around the home today, from improved insulation to economic and efficient appliances, so why should your roof be any different?
Green roofing is becoming more and more popular as a practical way to improve the eco-friendliness of your home, and a variety of approaches to creating a green roof now exist. Here are just a few…
Particularly popular in the sunnier states of the USA, covering your roof in plants, flowers and vegetation brings a number of benefits. Not only can it look great, but the green layer can also protect your roof from the threat of fire, as well as reducing the amount of UV damage caused by the sun. The insulating properties of roof gardens help to keep heat in in the winter reflect it away from the property in the summer, meaning a more efficient heating system can be employed.
It’s advised that plants that are native to the local area should be used, as they will perform the best with minimum upkeep, as well as match the aesthetic of the nearby flora. For drier areas, rain guards can be used to hold any rainwater inside the boundaries of the roof garden to maximise natural water.
Concern over the extra stress added to the roof’s structure through the weight of the soil, particularly when wet, has been addressed by creating nutrient-rich soil that doesn’t need to be so deep for plants to take root.
New Solar Panelling
The introduction of solar panels as alternative energy sources has been slow to catch on in the UK, with the lack of sufficient sunshine in some areas proving the one of the main barriers. Also, up until this point, the panels themselves have not been particularly attractive to look at, adding an ugly blue square onto the roofs and sides of homes. That’s now beginning to change, as developers look to ways to incorporate solar panelling into metal and shingle roofing materials, known as Building Integrated Photovoltaic technology (BIPV). Although still in its early stages, and not cheap enough for domestic use, BIPV is one potential route for the future of solar power, and even see-through solar cells that can be fitted into windows are also becoming a reality.
Harnessing the Wind
While solar power sourcing remains somewhat difficult on our cloudy shores, wind energy is most certainly readily available. Developments in personal wind turbines have made ground in recent years, with those small enough for office buildings or larger homes becoming a very real prospect.
Metal Still Works
Away from the new technological advances, metal roofs still represent a very easy way to keep your roof eco-friendly. Metal roofs are highly durable and require fewer materials to repair and replace over their lifetime, as well as proving very simple to recycle once shingles have been expended. With insulating and cooling properties, as well as greater ability to catch and conserve rainwater if needed, metal is the stopgap material of choice while the technology catches up.