Gardens and roofs. Have you ever thought of putting the two together? In current years, garden roofs have become extremely popular, especially in larger cities such as Chicago, and buildings have seen much value in them. Recently, there has been a lot of political support for garden roofs here in Chicago—due to the positive environmental benefits—and many of the larger buildings in downtown Chicago feature these garden roofs. As installers of these roofs, we understand the benefits and values of garden roofs, as well as the importance of having skilled contractors constructing these roofing systems on industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings.
What are some of the benefits of having a garden on your roof? It’s a “green” initiative, meaning it has a positive environmental impact. Since the gardens help to protect the roof from the sun, the thermal impact on the roofing system is reduced and the roof’s viability is extended. Additionally, the garden roofs help to retain storm water, which is much needed when storms hit—the gardens hold onto the water longer, allowing the excess water to be put into the systems more slowly. The result? City sewer systems are impacted less by large storms.
How do you make sure your building is a candidate for a garden roof? Typically, a garden should only be installed on a newer roofing system, and it should use light-weight materials, so that the load on the roofing structure is not severely impacted. The integrity of the roof is the most important factor. It is essential that you employ a skilled professional roofing contractor, as opposed to landscapers; roofing contractors know that the garden component is not the entire roof—they understand the various layers and logistics required in constructing these waterproof roofs.
As roofing contractors in Chicago, we have installed a number of garden roofs throughout the city. For more information on garden roofing systems, see the CRCA’s video (we are mentioned at the end!).