Why Green Roofs Make Sense For Sustainable Living

One of the most important environmental events globally is Earth Day, annually celebrated on April 22. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is now active in more than 193 countries and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. The organization’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. It is the world’s largest recruiter of the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners to drive positive action for our planet. 

This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet.

Here at Ginkgo Sustainability, we aim to do just that in our mission to connect the living and built environments with biophilic design through the installation of living roofs and the installation and manufacture of living walls. The value of biophilic design is to create harmony with nature. Studies have documented the physiological and psychological benefits of reconnecting humans with nature.

So What is a Green Roof? 

A green roof extends a building’s roof, incorporating living plants, a growing medium, drainage layer, root barrier, and high-quality waterproofing membrane. Also known as living roofs, vegetated roofs, and eco-roofs, green roofs have many economic, ecological, and societal benefits.  

Top 4 Benefits of a Green Roof 
1. Environmental Benefits 

Instead of a regular one, a green roof provides a rainwater buffer, purifies the air, reduces the ambient temperature and increases solar panel efficiency. 

2. Ecological Benefits 

Secondly, installing a green roof increases biodiversity in the area. The Sedums, herbs, grasses, or host plants included in the green roof area promote the habitat of birds, butterflies, and insects. This is especially encouraged in dense urban areas of the city to help offset the concrete and asphalt cityscape.

3. Sociological Benefits

A green roof adds value to the building. The natural appearance combined with the sustainable aspect of the roof increases the value of your property. 

A green roof provides a sound barrier that reduces ambient noise outside and inside. Thus, absorbing the sound yields a quieter environment throughout your building, benefiting the tenants and surrounding neighbours.

Lastly, A green roof extends the overall lifespan of a roof. It protects the roofing material from external influences such as the elements and temperature fluctuation. The protective layer it provides can double or even triple the lifespan of your roof. 

4. Mental Health Benefits 

Greenery in any setting renders a healing environment encouraging faster recovery for patients, stability in one’s mental health, and overall a positive impact on one’s general health. A person’s pain tolerance is higher in a green environment. 

Lastly, a Green environment also positively affects one’s well-being when exposed to it and presents a relaxed and stress-reduced state. A most interesting fact – the human brain can differentiate between human-made nature and the natural environment. Therefore, when choosing a space to surround yourself in, consider the impact of nature’s direct experience compared to the indirect exposure. 

Why choose Sustainability? 

According to the Earth Day Organization, it’s becoming more apparent that we no longer have a choice to go green — sustainability is the path to prosperity. So for both humanitarian and business reasons, companies of all sizes must take action and embrace the benefits of a green economy. Therefore, at Ginkgo, we practice this in our own office and give it to others everywhere by adding a little green to their space. We also aim to be an educational resource for sustainable living and biophilic design. 

What Can You Do? 

So in celebration of Earth Day, start to:

  1. Be conscious of your actions
  2. Take a step towards going green and 
  3. Choose sustainability for you or your business — and remember, you can always start by installing a green roof or live wall.