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Thursday, 31 January 2008

Green Roofs

I stay on the top floor of a block of flats, and lately with the temperatures reaching 30-36 degrees Celsius, it has been really hot inside.

As the temperatures go up, on go the air-conditioners to try to keep us cool.

But what with the recent Eskom power failures and the need to reduce the amount of electricity used, I was thinking about how a country like South Africa could really benefit from using plants for insulation on roofs - "Green Roofs."

Provided its done properly, the savings on cooling and heating costs could be quite considerable.
The soil, and plant material act as a far more efficient method of insulation, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.

Other benefits of Green Roofs include:
  1. It could reduce the amount of surface water runoff
  2. An effective water filtration system
  3. Protection and extended life of the roofing membrane
  4. Improves the air quality in and around the building
  5. Green Roofs could improve the environment - attracting birds and butterflies
  6. Makes for an attractive looking roof - especially when viewed from above
  7. Harvesting of vegetables etc. for food
  8. Sound insulation
Some other sites that talk about green roofs are Soekershof and Urban Habitats

A more detailed look at Green Roofs can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rob, thanks for the comment on my blog!

I've read about green roof designs before and been really impressed with the concept. Do you know if there are any real life examples in South Africa?

stoneware70 said...

Not that I know of. When the Workshop parking garage in Durban was built it was one of the largest roof gardens in the world, but 'roof gardens' are designed to be less functional, and more aesthetic than 'green roofs'. But I guess some of the results are similar.

Anonymous said...

Great site!

It is so good to read about green roofs and green buildings.

I was in China in January and it was awful. There wasn't a single clear day out of five. Then you look out onto the city and flat roof, one after the other. If they would just plant green roofs, people could breath easier.

I found a lot of good info at

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous,

Its definitely an under used solution to insulation problems, as well as cleaning the air that we breath. Every little bit makes a difference.

I took a look at your site - it has some good info. The youtube video is quite interesting, and the link to

Landia said...

Also looking for green roofs or gardens in South Africa... Hope to find some or make some :)

Lenore Lung said...

Green roofs are something, aren’t they? With the number of benefits they can contribute to the community, it’s no surprise that professional roof contractors are starting to offer them to clients. Green roofs have aesthetic, environmental, and even medical advantages that we can benefit from. It might take some time to reach their intended effect, but the effect and the benefits of green roofs are those that can last for generations.

Roofing oklahoma city said...

I love the concept of green roof. The possibilities of conserving water, energy, and money are virtually endless. It may take some time for the general public to accept this type of innovation. But sure enough, this will benefit the people who reside in this type of residence. – I hope to hear more good news about this. Thanks.

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