If you’re a homeowner who is concerned about your environmental footprint, one of the ways you can make a difference might be just over your head. Green roof designs allow you to minimize your impact, and live a more eco-friendly life.
And there are a lot of options currently on the market. For example…
#1: A Living Roof
One popular option laid out in This Old House, is a literal green roof. Called living roofs, it’s a waterproof sub-layer with maintenance-free plants installed above. This allows the roof to absorb rainfall and sunlight without runoff or heating up respectively, and it means there’s a little more fresh air around your home.
#2: White Roofs
An approach that’s being used more in urban environments to combat the heat island effect is to use white roofs. This is a simple, low-cost way to reduce energy consumption and avoid high temperatures, which makes it ideal for those who are looking for a way to be green without breaking a budget.
#3: Roof Gardens
Similar to living roofs, a roof garden is when a flat roof is used as a space to grow plants. These roofs provide many of the same benefits of a living roof, but the garden space is meant to be either useful (where it grows fresh product), enjoyable (where flowers and other plants are used to create a pleasing landscape), or both.
#4: Solar Panels
According to Modernize, the trend of solar panel installation is not going away anytime soon. In fact, as the prices for panels and installation drop, these panels are becoming a more feasible investment for more people than ever before.
#5: Tiles and Cement
Asphalt shingles have been the standard roofing accessory for years because they’re cheap, fast, and easy to install. The problem is their shelf life isn’t all that long… less than ten years, in many cases. As such, more homeowners are investing in rooftop tiles (which can easily last more than twenty years), and in products like cement cladding (which is long lasting andrecyclable) in order to reduce maintenance costs, and to use fewer materials.
#6: Energy Star Materials
Cooler materials, such as coated aluminum roofs, fit the EPA standards for Energy Star roofing products. These options represent a middle ground for people who want to have green roofs, but who don’t want to fully invest in solar panels or a living roof.
#7: Rubber Roofs
While they might not be overly common, rubber roof shingles made from recycled tires are a green option that may fit a lot of people’s budgets as well as their sense of environmental obligation.
#8: Steel Roofing Panels
While they might make your home look like it’s heading into battle, steel roofing panels are a long-lasting solution that are also 100 percent recyclable. The combination of longevity, and lack of waste, makes this an appealing solution.
#9: Reclaimed Lumber
Wooden shingles don’t take a lot of energy to produce, but as Mother Earth News points out they often come from the harvesting of old growth trees. That does its own sort of environmental damage. However, reclaimed wooden shingles allow you to enjoy the all-natural beauty as well as the peace of mind of knowing that your roof didn’t require a single new tree to be cut down.
#10: Plastic Roofs
While it might not sound like the greenest solution, plastics offer a lot of benefits for roofing options. More importantly, there are plastic tiles made from completely recycled waste material, which allows a homeowner to know without a doubt that their roof pulled plastics out of landfills, and out of the ocean.