3 Ways Green Roofs Can Save You Money

As awareness of the benefits of green roofs grows in North America, I am getting more and more inquiries from prospective clients all over the world. People want to know, “How can a green roof save me money”? I welcome this question because I enjoy educating people on the numerous economic benefits to having one – a green roof is not just a pretty face! The determining factor in building a green roof usually comes down to initial costs and return on investment, so I am happy to share everything I know that could benefit my clients. Here are three ways a green roof can save you money:

  1. Roof Protection and Extended Lifespan

Approximately every 15 years your roof will need to be replaced. Over time, harmful UV rays from the sun will degrade your roofing membrane. This includes any bituminous, TPO/PVC, EPDM membranes that are all subject to degradation. Covering your roof with vegetation offers a protective layer that shelters the waterproofing membrane of your roof from the sun. Given that green roofs can extend the lifespan of your roof for up to 70 years, the building owner will not have to replace the roof in his or her lifetime. To put that into perspective; within a 70 year period, you will have to redo your roof approximately 4 times…you do the math. There are reports of green roofs in Germany almost 100 years old!


  1. Insulation

Although a little more difficult to quantify in terms of ROI, energy savings is a direct benefit of green roofs. Determining the heat gain/loss of a green roof on a structure is tricky given other influences such as weather conditions or outside temperature, the green roof composition and any existing site conditions. It is safe to say the green roofs provide adequate insulation as long as there is significant green roof coverage. Insulation is also better for lower-level green roofs. Whether you are cooling or heating, it is important to acknowledge that the thermal properties of a green roof will also depend on the planting material, soil composition and amount of moisture present in the system. Overall, studies show that green roofs as insulation could be very effective, especially in summer months when air conditioning systems are overloaded and buildings are warming.


  1. Increase Your Property Value

Research in real estate tells us that properties abutting or in view of public parks have increased values of 9%-20%. Green spaces and infrastructure have positive effects on property values thus, green roofs can accomplish the same. Two factors to consider when constructing a green roof for your property are the views and accessibility. Clear views of your green roof will have a positive, aesthetic appeal creating interest for prospective buyers, and we’ve all seen what tar-covered roofs look like! If your roof is accessible and has been programmed to accommodate plants and people, the monetary gains are even greater. Having access to a private urban oasis where you can retreat and entertain guests is an added bonus to your property. As a rule of thumb, if the green can be seen you can expect a clean gain!