Green roofs - a good design and ecology in one.

Text and photos: Mariola Weindich-Mašek

12 June 2018

Probably everyone connects green roofs with Scandinavia, where they are an integral part of a landscape. Can you imagine streets of your cities covered in greenery? Thanks to this solution we would not only be closer to nature in the middle of the city, but above all - the amount of greenery and released oxygen will be bigger, and traffic noise and the amount of carbon dioxide will be reduced.

Green roofs are not a technological revolution. In Scandinavia such solutions were very often applied from the ninth to the nineteenth century. They were cheap, and at the same time – they protected from the sun and they absorbed rainwater. Proper purlin-tenaille roof construction withstood without any problem turf, snow, and it resisted strong wind. In countries where climate is hot, green roofs were used on residential buildings. There, they protect the interiors from heat.

Green roof is associated with additional costs, but it also has a lot of advantages. First of all, you should remember that it purifies the air. Larger surface increases oxygen level and reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Green roofs have also a significant impact on reducing noise. Street noise can be reduced by about 20-30dB, and 40-50dB indoor depending on the type of roof.

Another advantage is that they do not heat up as fast as conventional roofs. During heat, temperatures on classic ones can reach up to 80 degrees. Meanwhile, the maximum temperature on a green roof is 40 degrees. It can also be a kind of an additional insulation - both thermal and protective ones. Green roofs are not only a perfect ecological solution. It is also an example of how you can easily change the look of the space surrounding us. A green roof can be very simple, but we can also create a beautiful composition, thanks to which our house will be distinguished from others.

Though in Poland green roofs are little-known, this solution can be found on public buildings. You can see the green garden on the roof of Warsaw University Library. The garden consists of 4 separate gardens: Golden Garden, Carmine Garden, Green Garden and Gold Garden. In each of them there are different species of plants, picked by their colour. The green area of the roof is one hectare. This project was completed in 2001. Another green roof in Warsaw is located on the building of the Supreme Court. Its area is 1600 square meters. It was built in the late 90s and it is only a decoration of the building.

Although interest in green roofs increases, still it is not a currently proposed and used solution. However, with increasing environmental problems of todays world they can become not only a pleasure, but a necessity in the future.