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What Are The Benefits Of Rooftop Gardens?

Image of a rooftop garden.

Many current rooftop gardens are often found in cities, and can also be found in residential areas on everyday homes. However, what are the benefits of rooftop gardens?

1. Improved Air Quality  

Rooftop gardens help to improve air quality by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen via tiny holes in their leaves, through a process known as photosynthesis. They can also passively help to absorb pollutants via the external surfaces of their leaves and via their plant root-soil system.

Removing greenhouse gases from the environment may help to improve air quality and help to reduce air pollution. However, to make a notable impact, it is likely that a large number of rooftop gardens would be needed.       

2. Rooftop Gardens Positively Impact The Urban Heat Island Effect

Urban buildings absorb and re-emit more heat when compared to natural environments. This means that urban settings can end up being considerably hotter when compared to areas with lots of vegetation, a discovery that has been highlighted in several studies already.  One study by Cardiff University showed that rooftop gardens helped to reduce peak temperatures by as much as 11℃. In turn, the cooling effect of the garden helps to reduce demand for energy usage for cooling.  

The vegetation from the rooftop gardens absorbs heat and energy, helping to reduce the overall ambient temperature of structures and their surroundings. This helps to naturally cool the buildings.    

3. Encourages Wildlife

Having a garden rooftop can help to both encourage and protect wildlife, such as birds and other various insects. The garden could also act as a useful stopover for migrating birds or other species that may need to take shelter. 

However, this is not only a perk for local wildlife, it is also a perk for you. Whether the garden is on your roof or a commercial building, you may get to see a peek at some of the animals nesting there.  

4. They Help To Provide Locally Sourced Fresh Food

Many rooftop gardens in urban environments have been transformed into mini farms, growing a wide range of fruits and vegetables to provide for the local people. In turn, having fresh and locally sourced produce may help to provide residents with fresher food that lasts longer.

If you decide to install a rooftop garden, you may even be able to grow your own supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. This may help you to save money when compared to buying at big supermarket chains.  

5. Stormwater Management

Another notable benefit of rooftop gardens is their ability to effectively manage heavy amounts of rainfall. The vegetation manages to hold high amounts of rainfall for long enough until it can be evaporated, which helps to reduce the amount of water that flows into the streets. In turn, this reduces the amount of strain on sewage systems from water runoff. It may also help to prevent localized flooding, as well as helping filter any pollutants that may be present in the rainfall.

6. Helps To Protect From Weathering

Rooftop gardens can help to protect your roof from the effects of weathering by protecting the roof membrane from from ultraviolet radiation. They also help to protect against harsh weather such as storms and heavy rainfall.  

Image of a rooftop garden.

7. Reduced Energy Usage

Another benefit of rooftop gardens is that they help to reduce energy consumption. They help to cool and insulate buildings during the summer and winter months, potentially  helping to reduce costs for residents on energy bills. In turn, this could potentially help to lower energy demand for heating and cooling, helping people to save money, as well as being an environmentally friendly benefit.  

8. They Absorb Outside Noise Better

As well as being able to effectively absorb carbon dioxide, rooftop gardens are also surprisingly effective at reducing levels of outside noise. The layer of vegetation helps to deflect and absorb soundwaves, an effect that could be more notable in busy cities with lots of vehicles. It may also be beneficial for those who live in residential areas near airports with lots of overhead noise.  

9. A Rooftop Garden Could Increase The Value Of Your Property

A cost benefit analysis report from the U.S General Services Administration revealed that having a green roof could increase the value of both commercial and public properties over the long-term. Over a fifty year period, the return of investment should average around 224%, heavily outweighing the initial installation and maintenance costs.

In addition, the report found that the longevity of the roof was one of the main contributors that helped to increase savings. They also found that buildings with fewer floors had greater energy savings with a green roof when compared to a black roof.  

10. Psychological Benefits

One final benefit of rooftop gardens is that they could potentially benefit the psychological state of humans. Previous studies have shown that an increase in exposure to vegetation and nature can help to reduce levels of anxiety and stress in some cases.

If you choose to spend time in your own rooftop garden, you may find yourself feeling more relaxed and at peace. Some people even find gardening particularly therapeutic.

In Conclusion

Clearly, there are many benefits of rooftop gardens and green roofs, for both you and the planet. Not only that, they have also proved to be cost effective in the long term, and can generate huge energy savings.

However, it is also important to incorporate the correct plants in any green roof or garden, so make sure you consult with an expert before proceeding. This will save you both time and money.

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