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The Key Benefits of Green Roof Systems - Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, New York (NY)

The Key Benefits of Green Roof Systems in the Long Island New York Area.

Building and operating facilities that are environmentally responsible is on everyone’s mind in schools and hospitals throughout North America. Many are taking environmental issues very seriously and are retrofitting or building entirely new structures to meet LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and standards.

Although roofs have been long overlooked, facility managers are taking a closer view even here to see how they can make them more environmentally preferable, last longer, reduce stormwater runoff and save energy for the entire facility. Although this is a burgeoning trend in the United States, the concept of installing Green roofs is not exactly a new one.

Green roofs originated centuries ago in parts of Europe where other roofing and construction materials were not available. A millennium ago, sod houses were built in Iceland, Greenland and even Newfoundland sporting vegetation atop the roof. Early North American settlers were known to build roofs or entire houses of sod. And it was not uncommon at that time to see the homeowner chase away goats grazing atop the roof.

Although sod houses and structures are no longer practical, Green roofs have lived on. For more than three decades, German developers and property owners have been installing Green roofing systems atop new and existing structures. Today, more than 10 million square feet of Green roofs are installed annually in Germany and the market has been growing at a steady clip of around 10 percent every year.

Because of their growing interest, hospital and school administrators considering the installation of a Green roofing system should know what are now considered the key benefits of a Green roof system. Additionally, such issues as costs to install a Green roof and the short- and long- term maintenance of the Green roof should be understood as well.

Key Benefits
Before even considering the addition of a Green roof, it is important to know the carrying capacity of the existing roof. An extensive Green roof fully saturated can weigh ten to 28 pounds per square foot. A licensed professional can help determine whether a roof can support this much added weight.

Once it is clear the building can support a Green roof, facility managers can consider the benefits. For instance, Green roofs help quiet structures, provide a habitat for wildlife and turn rooftops into a refuge for building occupants. However, the three benefits that are now or are becoming key factors involve the Green roof’s ability to manage stormwater runoff, reduce energy costs and extend the life of an existing roof.

Stormwater Runoff
What has long been identified as the significant benefit of a Green roof is how effectively it can address the problem of stormwater management. With an extensive Green roof—the most common Green roof installation involving three to eight inches of soil in which growth media (soil) is planted—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that after one-half inch of precipitation, at least 75 percent is absorbed by the Green roof. Other studies indicate more than 90 percent is absorbed by the Green roof.

Why is this a key benefit? Stormwater, as it leaves building rooftops gathers pollutants, chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants, flowing directly onto city streets and sidewalks. After a major rainfall event local water treatment facilities may be unable to handle the load, resulting in significant amounts being dumped directly into waterways, affecting the health of aquatic life and other living things. Additionally, stormwater management systems are coming under much greater scrutiny resulting in the implementation of new regulations and standards for building developers that are adding to the costs of new construction.

Energy Conservation
Another significant benefit of Green roofs is the role they play in energy conservation. The precipitation absorbed by the Green roof after a rainfall event is slowly released into the atmosphere. This helps cool surrounding areas and helps reduce the “urban heat island” effect that makes downtown areas so much hotter than surrounding forested areas. And because the existing roof is covered by soil and vegetation it remains relatively cool throughout the year. When it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside a conventional roof can be as hot as 180 degrees; a Green roof reduces this significantly.

According to studies conducted by the University of Toronto, Green roofs can help save as much as 6 percent in facility energy costs during a typical summer, if not more. Other studies report that the demand for power, mostly to air-condition facilities increases 3 percent with every half degree increase in temperature. But by reducing the urban heat island effect this rise in temperature can be moderated. In fact, just a one- degree reduction in the urban heat island effect can decrease the demand for electricity to air-condition buildings by as much as 5 percent.

Increasing the Life Span of the Existing Roof
Most new roofs are designed to last at least twenty years. However, when they need to be replaced, installation can prove to be very costly as well as disruptive for building users. Green roofs, as referenced earlier protect the existing roof from temperature extremes and it is these temperature extremes that cause the roof to wear and crack.

The vegetation also helps protect the roof from ultraviolet radiation and other climactic stresses. According to David Beattie, professor of ornamental horticulture at Penn State University, “A black surface roof can get extremely hot during the day and then cool more than 100 degrees at night. [This causes] the roof’s membrane to expand and contract and after a while the [roofing] material tends to fatigue and break up. But a Green roof moderates those temperature extremes so the life of the roof might be extended two or three times.”

Indeed, it is now commonly believed that a Green roof doubles the life expectancy of the existing roof. Instead of dealing with a major roof installation costing thousands of dollars every twenty years those same funds can be used for other projects that benefit students or patients.

Costs
Green roofs tend to cost more in the U.S. than in Europe. Part of this is because Europeans have had more experience installing Green roofs and the technology is still relatively new in this country. Prices can vary depending on a host of factors, such as:
• The type of existing roof where the Green roof will be installed
• Permits and fees
• Hourly labor charges in your locality
• Costs of plants, soil and drainage systems
• Transporting the Green roof materials to the job site

However, new Green roof technologies are being introduced that are addressing many of these issues and helping to lower costs. For instance, installing the Green roof atop Chicago’s City Hall in 2001 proved to be a major learning experience for the industry. Typically, Green roofs are built with crews working directly on top of the existing roof as it was on City Hall. However, this proved to be a costly challenge on the near one-hundred-year-old building.

After that installation one of the technologies engineers developed was a modular Green roof system. With the modular system the Green roof (soil and growth media) is preplanted in square or rectangular modules made of recycled plastic and then placed on the existing roof. The installation is relatively fast, less costly and labor intensive and has allowed more facilities to take advantage of Green roofing systems.

Maintenance Issues
Northwestern University is about to open Prentiss Women’s Hospital in Chicago. The state-of-the-art facility hopes to be LEED certified shortly after opening and among other Green features, includes a Green roof.

However, before installing the Green roof the hospital installed a “pilot” Green roof on an existing building. One of the chief concerns is the maintenance requirements of the roof. Although the vegetation was changed shortly after installation in response to requests for a more colorful setting by patients and staff of surrounding buildings that could look out on the Green roof, the roof has required essentially no maintenance whatsoever according to the project administrator.

The hospital which installed a Green roof system as described earlier did have the installers water the roof once in place and prune and weed as necessary. However, after the initial installation no further attention was needed.

When it comes to maintenance facility managers should know that plant selection is vitally important to the survival of the Green roof. The conditions atop a roof with more sunlight, wind and heat exposure can be much more intense than at ground level. The plants selected must be hearty, drought-tolerant and native to the local environment.

Selection of growth media is also crucial. Engineered soil is a new technology that has helped Green roofs grow with little or no maintenance. Considered the foundation of the Green roof, the soil is mixed with specific chemicals and nutrients to help the plants live after the initial installation as well as over the long term.

With benefits of Green roofs mounting, costs coming down and maintenance issues negligible the prediction is that more schools and hospitals will be installing Green roofing systems. “I have found that Green roofs serve another important role as well,” says Jim Lindell with GreenGrid® , a manufacturer of Green roofing systems. “The plants and vegetation remind us that we can take steps now to help us better care for our planet in the future.”

 


 
For more information, contact New Roof Long Island, a professional roofing company..

We have over 30 years of roofing repair experience.  We can fix any of your roofing issues.  Contact New Roof Long Island Today!!

We are partnered with the major roofing material companies and will beat any roofing contractor quotes. Get your price then call us for a free roofing estimate. We travel across Nassau County,     Suffolk County and Queens New York installing new roofs and fixing old leaky roofs.

If you are looking to fix leaks in your current roof or if you want a brand new roof, look no further. We will fix your current roof or do a roof rip and install a new roof usually in 1 day with very minimal mess!  (commercial roofing may be longer)



Nassau County, New York - Roof Leaks, Roof Repair Service, New Roof Installation, We will fix your Roof.

Albertson 11507
Alden Manor 11003
Atlantic Beach 11509
Baldwin 11510
Bayville 11709
Bellerose Village 11001
Bellmore 11710
Bethpage 11714
Brookville 11545
Brookville 11548
Carle Place 11514
Cedarhurst 11516
East Atlantic Beach 11561
East Meadow 11554
East Norwich 11732
East Rockaway 11518
East Williston 11596
Elmont 11003
Far Rockaway 11096
Farmingdale 11735
Farmingdale 11736
Farmingdale 11737
Farmingdale 11774
Floral Park 11001
Floral Park 11002
Floral Park 11003
Franklin Square 11010
Freeport 11520
Garden City 11530
Garden City Park 11040
Glen Cove 11542
Glen Head 11545
Glenwood Landing 11547
Great Neck 11020
Great Neck 11021
Great Neck 11022
Great Neck 11023
Great Neck 11024
Great Neck 11025
Great Neck 11026
Great Neck 11027
Greenvale 11548
Hempstead 11549
Hempstead 11550
Hempstead 11551
Hewlett 11557
Hicksville 11801
Hicksville 11802
Hicksville 11815
Hicksville 11819
Hicksville 11854
Hicksville 11855
Hillside Manor 11040
Inwood 11096
Island Park 11558
Jericho 11753
Jericho 11853
Kings Point 11024
Lake Success 11020
Lawrence 11559
Levittown 11756
Lido Beach 11561
Locust Valley 11560
Long Beach 11561
Lynbrook 11563
Malverne 11565
Manhasset 11030
Manhasset Hills 11040
Massapequa 11758
Massapequa Park 11762
Meacham 11003
Merrick 11566
Mill Neck 11765
Mineola 11501
New Hyde Park 11040
New Hyde Park 11041
New Hyde Park 11042
New Hyde Park 11043
New Hyde Park 11044
New Hyde Park 11099
North Baldwin 11510
North Bellmore 11710
North Hills 11040
North Massapequa 11758
North Merrick 11566
North New Hyde Park 11040
North New Hyde Park 11042
Oceanside 11572
Old Bethpage 11804
Old Brookville 11545
Old Brookville 11548
Old Westbury 11568
Oyster Bay 11771
Plainview 11803
Plandome 11030
Point Lookout 11569
Port Washington 11050
Port Washington 11051
Port Washington 11052
Port Washington 11053
Port Washington 11054
Port Washington 11055
Rockville Centre 11570
Rockville Centre 11571
Rockville Centre 11572
Roosevelt 11575
Roslyn 11576
Roslyn Heights 11577
Sands Point 11050
Sea Cliff 11579
Seaford 11783
South Floral Park 11001
South Hempstead 11550
Stewart Manor 11530
Syosset 11773
Syosset 11791
Uniondale 11553
Uniondale 11555
Uniondale 11556
Upper Brookville 11545
Upper Brookville 11732
Upper Brookville 11771
Valley Stream 11580
Valley Stream 11581
Valley Stream 11582
Wantagh 11793
Wantagh 11568
Wantagh 11590
Wantagh 11594
Wantagh 11595
Wantagh 11597
West Hempstead 11552
Williston Park 11596
Woodbury 11797
Woodmere 11598

Suffolk County, New York - Roof Leaks, Roof Repair Service, New Roof Installation, We will fix your Roof.

Amagansett 11930
Amity Harbor 11701
Amityville 11701
Amityville 11708
Aquebogue 11931
Babylon 11702
Babylon 11703
Babylon 11704
Babylon 11707
Baiting Hollow 11933
Bay Shore 11706
Bayport 11705
Bellport 11713
Blue Point 11715
Bohemia 11716
Brentwood 11717
Bridgehampton 11932
Brightwaters 11718
Brookhaven 11719
Calverton 11933
Captree Island 11702
Center Moriches 11934
Centereach 11720
Centerport 11721
Central Islip 11722
Central Islip 11749
Cherry Grove 11782
Cold Spring Harbor 11724
Commack 11725
Copiague 11726
Coram 11727
Cutchogue 11935
Davis Park 11772
Deer Park 11729
Dix Hills 11746
East Hampton 11937
East Islip 11730
East Marion 11939
East Islip 11730
East Moriches 11940
East Northport 11731
East Patchogue 11772
Eastport 11941
East Quogue 11942
East Setauket 11733
East Yaphank 11967
Edgewood 11717
Elwood 11731
Fair Harbor 11706
Farmingdale 11735
Farmingville 11738
Fire Island Pines 11782
Fishers Island 06390
Flanders 11901
Fort Salonga 11768
Gilgo Beach 11702
Great River 11739
Greenlawn 11740
Greenport 11944
Halesite 11743
Hampton Bays 11946
Hauppauge 11749
Hauppauge 11788
Head of the Harbor 11780
Holbrook 11741
Holtsville 00501
Holtsville 00544
Holtsville 11742
Huntington 11743
Huntington Station 11746
Huntington Station 11747
Huntington Station 11750
Islandia 11749
Islandia 11760
Islip 11751
Islip Terrace 11752
Jamesport 11947
Kings Park 11754
Kismet 11706
Lake Grove 11755
Lake Ronkonkoma 11779
Laurel 11948
Lindenhurst 11757
Lloyd Harbor 11743
Manorville 11949
Mastic 11950
Mastic Beach 11951
Mattituck 11952
Medford 11763
Melville 11747
Melville 11750
Melville 11775
Middle Island 11953
Miller Place 11764
Montauk 11954
Moriches 11955
Mount Sinai 11766
Nesconset 11767
New Suffolk 11956
Nissequogue 11780
North Babylon 11703
Northport 11768
Oak Beach 11702
Oakdale 11769
Oak Island 11702
Ocean Beach 11770
Orient 11957
Patchogue 11772
Peconic 11958
Port Jefferson 11777
Port Jefferson Station 11776
Port Jefferson Station 11777
Quogue 11959
Remsenburg 11960
Ridge 11961
Riverhead 11901
Rocky Point 11778
Ronkonkoma 11749
Ronkonkoma 11779
Sag Harbor 11963
Sagaponack 11962
Saint James 11780
Saltaire 11706
Sayville 11782
Selden 11784
Setauket 11733
Shelter Island 11964
Shelter Island Heights 11965
Shirley 11967
Shoreham 11786
Smith Point 11967
Smithtown 11787
Smithtown 11788
Sound Beach 11789
South Jamesport 11970
South Setauket 11720
Southampton 11968
Southampton 11969
Southold 11971
Speonk 11972
Stony Brook 11790
Stony Brook 11794
Upton 11973
Wading River 11792
Wainscott 11975
Water Mill 11976
West Babylon 11704
West Babylon 11707
West Brentwood 11717
West Gilgo Beach 11702
West Islip 11795
West Sayville 11796
Westhampton 11977
Westhampton Beach 11978
Wheatley Heights 11798
Wyandanch 11798
Yaphank 11980

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