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Green Roofs and Walls: Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development in Australia

How Green Roofs Helps in Sustainable Development in Australia?

A Green Roof is not a modern invention. The use of it dates back to thousands of years when people use to have it for agriculture, ceremonial reasons or for an extra protection from the extreme climates. Though green roofs are as old as the civilized society, they have recently become a metropolitan city-favourite – bestowing the building with a sustainable yet appealing design.

In terms of the modern use, a green roof is a living roof that supports vegetation on the top of the building through irrigation and drainage systems. The vegetation is planted over a flat roof surface or a sloped rooftop that is sustained by a waterproofing membrane. The trend is gaining rapid popularity in metropolitan cities – countries around the world (including Australia) are encouraging the trend by initiating green roof policies, creating awareness through education, offering tax abatements, infrastructure support and more. So, just like the countries we would like to spread the awareness and promote its proven benefits to bring life to buildings.

Benefits of Green Roof

1. Reduces the heat island effect – Cooling processes by plants (photosynthesis and evapotranspiration) enough turbulence that can break the vertical air flow, cool down the air and reduce the temperature. The entire process combats the heat island effect efficiently.

2. Reduces heating and cooling requirements – Green roofs limit the movement of heat in and out of the building. Hence in summers, it keeps the indoor climate cool and in winters it keeps the indoors warm. This means HVAC systems will require less energy to operate. Ultimately, it reduces energy consumption while cutting down the cost of bills.

3. Increases roof lifespan – Green roof increases the lifespan of the roof by over 200%. The plants growing over the waterproofing membrane protects it from physical damage and UV radiation.

4. Enhances sound insulation – When the rooftop is covered with green vegetation, it blocks the high-frequency as well as low-frequency sounds. Thus, a green roof is a great way to make your building soundproof.

5. Reduces stormwater runoff –   Green roofs are known to reduce stormwater runoff by over 75% as per the citations of EPA. The growing vegetation slows down the rate of runoff and retains up to 75% of rainwater. Eventually, the absorbed water is released back into the atmosphere through transpiration and condensation.

6. Promotes Biodiversity –  Green roofs serve as an urban version of natural habitat. Even buildings as tall as 19 stories are known to attract beneficial birds and insects. They promote biodiversity in urban areas while providing means of advancement for migratory birds, songbirds and wildlife that are facing insufficiency of natural habitat.

Captures pollutants and carbon dioxide – The growing vegetation on the roof filters the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Even pollutants from air and rainwater are captured by the plants, filtered and retained in the soil.

Types Of Green Roof

1. Extensive Green Roof – Extensive green roofs are not deeply affixed to the roof base. However, they provide the ecological benefits just like the intensive green roof. As they lack depth, the ability to retain water and support root growth is low. But still, they can reduce stormwater runoff. Additionally, this type limits the variety of plants that can withstand environmental stress.

2. Intensive Green Roof – As the name suggests, this type of roof offers more inner space and depth for profuse root development. The depth of intensive green roof ranges from 200mm to more than 1m. In contrast with the extensive green roof, this type offers more capacity to retain water and reduce stormwater runoff. The intensive green roof needs to be maintained just like the conventional gardens. Thus, you can grow a rich variety of plants and improve the natural landscape.

What are Green Walls?

How to Install Green Wall System for a Building?Green walls are vertical gardens that compose of pre-vegetated panels or modules attached to the structural wall. A variety of materials like polystyrene, synthetic fabric, clay, concrete can be used in the making the modular green walls. The green walls provide much better volume and space to grow a greater variety of plant species than green facades. They can be installed outside or inside a building.

Beneficial Characteristics Of Green Walls

  1. Green walls provide an appealable look to your internal and external walls. It enables you to have greenery in and around your building with less use of space and the floor
  2. Just like green roofs, they purify the air by releasing oxygen, trap dust, and also absorb pollutants such as volatile organic compounds that may be released from paints, adhesives, sealants etc.
  3. It reduces the heat load on facades and can be installed to existing commercial and residential buildings
  4. In harsh summer, like in Australia, the green walls reduce the surface temperature of the walls and enhance the cooling effect. Few walls that use irrigation and hydroponic techniques increase the cooling effect further through evaporation

Challenges Imposed While Implementing The Green Roof And Wall Techniques

1. Strong supporting structure – Installing a green roof means you need to have an extra care in giving a stronger supporting structure due to the additional weight. Extra structural implications and costs are involved in having one.

2. Waterproof membrane – Needless to say, you need a strong waterproofing system to protect your building from the entry of moisture. In addition, you need to maintain the same or perhaps have a replacement in few years.

3. Maintenance – Of course, when you are having a green roof or green wall you need to take great care of it. You need to have a sustainable water supply system and certain tools. You need to uproot the weeds that may appear occasionally. Inspecting the vegetation for a fungal disease or insect problems is another important factor.

4. Drainage system – The drainage system found underneath the green roof requires a regular inspection to avoid backups that may cause pooling or puddling.

Trend In Australia

Australia is constantly finding out ways to promote natural landscape in cities. There are significant research studies being conducted in Australia to have insight into the potential benefits of green roof and walls. For example. A student research at the University of Queensland revealed that stormwater runoff is reduced by 42% by plants that are soiled only to a depth of 100 mm. It showed that increase in reductions are achieved when soil depth is increased.

Besides, Sydney is the first city to adopt the green roofs and walls policy in April 2014. It has committed to increasing the number of high-quality green roofs and walls across the city. Two of the examples are Beare Park amenities block and Surry Hills Library.

Have Your Green Roofs And Walls Installed Easily With The Products Available On

1. Green Roof System – The green roof is a guaranteed product that offers a compact system that provides all the benefits listed above. It provides a stronger waterproofing membrane that is UV and root resistant. Be it any type of building structure, the system installs quickly and easily. Also, it can be installed to any existing buildings or constructions.

Learn more about Green Roof  System »

Modular Green Roof System2. Lightweight Modular Green Roof System – This extensive green roof system is lightweight, portable and easily installable on any building structure. The system excellently keeps the rodents away and connects to the drainage effectively.

Take a deep dive into the Modular Green Roof System »

3. Simple Green Wall System – If you are looking out to install a low maintenance green wall that can adjust anywhere in your home with a limited space, this is the option for you. It gives you a modular vertical living wall that gives a striking look to your house. You can choose to have the number of plants and variety as per your preferences.

Know more about Green Wall System here »

Green Roof Drainage Cell4. Green Roof Drainage Cell – Green roof drainage cell is a lightweight perforated sheet that is installed on the top of the waterproofing layer. It prevents excessive water from accumulating at one place.

Click on the link below for further benefits »

Last but not the least, we recommend you to install a leak detection system before installing a green roof. That will help you stay away from drainage issues.

The post Green Roofs and Walls: Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development in Australia appeared first on ProjectLink.

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Green Roofs and Walls: Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development in Australia


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