For building owners and property managers, keeping your facilities cool in the summer is a serious cost.

With a green roofing solution, building owners can combat the Urban Heat Island Effect while saving building owners money.

If you don’t know what the Urban Heat Island Effect is, you are in the right place!

Keep reading to find out how you can save money while supporting the environment.

How Green Roofing Can Fight The Urban Heat Island Effect

Green Roofing helps building owners save money while fighting the Urban Heat Island Effect.

What’s the Urban Heat Island Effect?

Just like it sounds, the Urban Heat Island Effect is a modern phenomenon that occurs in highly dense metropolitan areas.

As a city develops, the natural foliage and land cover are replaced with pavement and buildings.

Often, these new artificial surfaces are darker in color and made with heavier materials that absorb and retain much more heat than the natural greenery.

Because of this, these surfaces trap and emanate heat into our cities, causing increased pollution, energy costs, and even heat-related illnesses and death.

They are referred to as “Heat Islands” because the temperature in the city will be significantly higher than in the surrounding areas.

According to the EPA, daytime temperatures within urban areas can be up to 7° compared to the surrounding areas.

And this doesn’t just affect the environment!

According to the EPA, for each 2° increase due to the Urban Heat Island Effect, building owners can expect a 1-9% increase in their electricity costs!

So, what can we do to combat this effect?

Green Roofing!

What is Green Roofing?

Green roofing is a type of roof that focuses on offering eco-friendly solutions and lowering energy costs.

For this blog, we will focus on two types of green roofing: vegetative roofing and cool roofing.

Vegetative Roofing

Just like it sounds, vegetative roofing is a system that utilizes plants on the surface.

Vegetative roofing aims to recreate the natural foliage coverage lost when a city develops.

To install a vegetative roof, roofers use a waterproof membrane to cover the roof’s surface and protect it fully.

After this is installed, roofers will lay down soil and plant vegetation.

Common types of plants used in these roofs are shrubs, grasses, and even small trees!

There are two main types of Vegetative Roofs: Intensive Roofs & Extensive Roofs.

Vegetative Roofing: Intensive Vs. Extensive

Let’s start with the most straightforward option: extensive roofing.

These roofs are the cheaper, simplest, and require the least maintenance.

An Extensive Roof’s primary purpose is to provide eco-friendly, cost-saving benefits.

By contrast, an Intensive Vegetative Roof aims to be not only a roof but also a place to enjoy!

Because of this, these systems are much more complex and often take the form of a rooftop garden or even a park!

This means two things: first, they require additional structural support to handle the weight of foot traffic.

Second, they have a significantly higher initial cost.

So, the choice between the two boils down to one question: do you plan on using your roof as a gathering space?

If so, an intensive roof is your best option!

If your only goal is to fight climate change and lower energy bills, an extensive vegetative roof is a way to go.

Now that we’ve covered the difference between the two options, let’s get into the benefits.

Benefits of Vegetative Roofing

Vegetative roofing offers multiple benefits for building owners.

To start, vegetative roofs keep buildings cool: Vegetative roofs have 30-40% cooler surface temperatures than traditional dark-colored commercial roofs.

This reduction in temperature helps fight the Urban Heat Island Effect!

According to the EPA, vegetative roof systems can help lower urban temperatures by up to 5%!

Beyond the environmental benefits, a lowered surface temperature on your building’s roof means a reduced energy bill.

According to the same EPA study cited earlier, a green roof can lower a building’s energy use by nearly 1% annually.

This scales with a building’s size: a building owner can expect savings of nearly $0.25 per square foot of the roof’s surface.

To summarize, vegetative roofs are both an eco-friendly choice and a wallet-friendly option!

Cool Roofing

Cool roofing is another stellar option for fighting the Urban Heat Island Effect.

If you remember, the leading cause for the Urban Heat Island Effect is humans replacing natural coverage with dark surfaces.

To combat this, Cool Roofing utilizes a highly-reflective, light-colored surface to reflect UV radiation.

This works just like clothing. On a hot summer day, people wear lighter colors for a reason: to stay cool!

While this seems like a simple solution, the effects are drastic!

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a dark-colored commercial roof can have surface temperatures as high as 150° Fahrenheit on a hot summer day.

With the same conditions, a cool roofing system could have a surface temperature that is an entire 60° cooler!

Like with vegetative roofing, this lower temperature results in significant savings for building owners.

According to the EPA, building owners who choose a cool roofing system can expect yearly savings of nearly $0.50 per square foot!

So, just like Vegetative Roofing, Cool Roofs fight the Urban Heat Island Effect and save you money.

But which option is best for my building?

Let’s get into it!

How Instacoat Premium Products Can Help With Your Next Green Roofing Project

Here at Instacoat Premium Products, we have everything you need to install your next green roof.

We offer entire roofing systems for both Intensive & Extensive vegetative roofs.

As for cool roofing, our IPP 250 HS Silicone system is the perfect choice for the building owner looking to get into green roofing on a budget.

Thank you for reading.

If you have more questions about green roofing, please reach out to us!

(877) 552-­6724

Or, head to our “Contact Us” page of the IPP website and leave a message.