11 Sep 2017
Green infrastructure offers climate resilience in urban environments.

How vegetated roofs alleviate impact of climate change

Vegetated roofs, otherwise known as green roofs, are a key part of infrastructure resilience in an era of extreme heat events and more frequent and intense downpours.

Below are 4 ways vegetated roofs can have an immediate impact to improve resilience:

 

1. Help manage localized flooding

Vegetated roofs absorb rainfall, and help prevent water from overwhelming stormwater sewers and flooding streets or basements.  This reduces damage to infrastructure and property. They also reduce the volume of stormwater that flows into streams and rivers and thus protect local watersheds.

 

Vegetated roofs help mitigate urban heat island effect cooling the building, surrounding air and improving human health and comfort.

Vegetated roofs help mitigate urban heat island effect cooling the building, surrounding air and improving human health and comfort.

2. Help reduce urban heat island 

Vegetated roofs are a natural cover for rooftops that would otherwise absorb and retain heat.  Vegetated roofs mitigates air pollution levels an remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration. On hot days, vegetated roofs, reduce temperatures of the roof surface, and the surrounding air, improving human health and comfort.

 

 

Vegetated roof reduces the heat flux through the roof.

Vegetated roof reduces the heat flux through the roof.

3. Help lower building energy demands 

By shading the surface of the building, the vegetated roof is reducing the heat flux through the roof and reducing the indoor temperatures and demands on air conditioning.

 

 

 

 

Vegetated roofs delay peak flow and reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.

Vegetated roofs delay peak flow and reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.

4. Help save money managing water

Vegetated roofs retain and detain rainwater, delaying peak flow into sewer systems which helps reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.