Utah is the 4th fastest growing state in the country. Of its growing population, 80% are located in and around Salt Lake City which means the urban jungle, filled with concrete, asphalt and other impervious surfaces is ever-expanding. Loft Six Four is helping combat the negative implications of urbanization by leading the charge on the green roof initiative in Utah. The environmental, economic, and social benefits of green roofs are vast, and below we outline why you should invest your energy and money into exploring this new, hot and sustainable trend in landscape architecture design and real estate.
Roofs made out of conventional materials send contaminated rain water straight to the streets below. This can exacerbate flooding, increase erosion and may even result in raw sewage being discharged directly into our fresh water sources. One major benefit of green roofs is the ability to slowly absorb stormwater, in some cases even 100%, and then release the remainder slowly over the period of a few hours. Through the process of evapotranspiration, where water is transferred from the soil and vegetation to the air, green roofs also help offset the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect that is common in high concentration areas of sidewalks, roads and buildings. Standard building materials absorb and retain solar radiation during the day and then release heat gradually at night, increasing surrounding air temperatures the next day and requiring extensive cooling mechanisms. Green roofs consume heat energy producing a cooling effect on both roof and air temperatures.
Green roofs have a longer lifespan than standard roofs because they are protected from ultraviolet radiation and extreme fluctuations in temperature that can cause standard rooftop membranes to deteriorate. The vegetation helps cool both the membrane and the building during hot summer months as plants and their substrate act as an insulation layer. In colder months, the vegetation and soil barrier can also act as a heat insulator, reducing heating costs. Additionally, more city dwellers are looking for a green space to enjoy in their building of choice and are willing to pay a premium to get it. Giving prospects access to a green roof gives you a competitive advantage and pricing power over other buildings without those amenities.
Rooftop sundeck? BBQ? Firepit? All of these social spaces bring people together to share and enjoy the outdoors in addition to creating a sense of community for your building’s occupants. Shaded canopies, turf lawn areas and lounge areas can also add a sexy, contemporary edge to your outdoor space.
Keep in mind that not all green roofs are created equal. Some are more thoughtfully developed than others. Interested in seeing how we combine form, function AND design at Loft Six Four?