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Plano Roofing: Article About Living Commercial Roofs

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Commercial property owners who are looking for additional ways to save on the cost of operating their businesses may want to consider adding a living roof to their commercial structure. Living roofs provide a number of benefits, both for the property owner and for the surrounding environment. A certified Plano roofing professional can help interested business owners decide what kind of living roof would most benefit them. Presented here is an overview of some of the basic information on installing a green roof.

There are two main types of living roofs: extensive and intensive. The primary differences between them are the depth of the growing medium and the type of plants that can be used in the installation. For commercial applications, intensive roofs generally provide more benefits, but they do require routine maintenance and irrigation.

Intensive green roofs can be as elaborate or as simple as the property owner desires. Most intensive roofs have a 7 to 24 inch growing medium depth and can accommodate all types of plants, from low-growing sedums and mosses to shrubs and trees. Many intensive roofing systems incorporate other features such as foliage and water fountains as well as walkways and seating areas.

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Extensive roofs installed at this level provide all kinds of benefits to the building and to the people who work in them.

Living roofs help filter pollutants and gasses out of the environment, resulting in a cleaner atmosphere. They also help manage and limit the amount of storm water runoff. In the summertime, green roofs absorb from 70 to 90 percent of rainwater and about 25 to 40 percent in winter. This greatly reduces the stress on the city's water management system.

They also decrease the heat island effect. The green space also acts as an urban habitat for wildlife, particularly birds, and can provide a resting point in their migratory patterns. In fact, employees who work in buildings with living roofs report more job satisfaction. There is also less employee turnover in businesses that provide employees with a garden oasis.

One of the biggest benefits, however, is the savings on heating and cooling. Living roofs provide much better insulation than the typical membrane roof associated with most commercial buildings. A living roof can reduce the cost of cooling the building in summer by as much as 75 percent. The reduction in the surrounding air temperatures by the mitigation of the heat island effect also contributes to lowering the cooling costs. In winter, the insulating properties of the living roof help retain heat and lower the wear and tear on HVAC equipment.

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