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The unexpected payoff of investing in a green roof

by Matt Downs

By Richard Aldred, UK Roofing Market Manager, Sika Ltd.

Ask any architect what springs to mind when they think of modern green roof systems; there’s a whole host of environmental, social, and design-based benefits they’ll likely list – mitigating the urban heat island effect, assisting stormwater management, creating essential wildlife habitats, increasing amenity space, boosting mental wellbeing, improving air quality in the local area, not to mention forming a stunning visual feature within contemporary architecture. I could continue, reeling off more impressive, evidence-backed benefits. Benefits that not only help the public, private, and social sectors, but also the local and global environments.

“One of the lesser-known payoffs that surprises specifiers is, if you install a green roof on top of a waterproofing system, you’re actually extending its life significantly”

Richard Aldred, UK Roofing Market Manager, Sika Ltd.

There’s no denying it, green roofs are a fundamental architectural element that lay claim to a multitude of pros. But, in working directly with architects, surveyors and contractors, one of the lesser-known payoffs that surprises specifiers is, if you install a green roof on top of a waterproofing system, you’re actually extending its life significantly. It’s a key advantage that truly turns heads. Why? Because many will see a green roof as an added cost to a building. However, over time a standard roof without a green roof will deteriorate. The cost of replacement far outweighs the cost of a green roof system, whether it’s designed as part of a new build or retrofitted on an existing roof. A standard flat roof is likely to deteriorate in one of two ways: mechanical damage, i.e., someone putting a drill through it, or environmental damage, i.e., UV rays and freeze-thaw cycles that gradually degrade the roof’s properties over time. A green roof will protect it from both, extending it to the life of the structure to which it is applied, meaning the waterproofing will likely never need to be replaced.

Couple this fact with the better-known economic benefits of green roofs, and it’s a win-win financially. For example, a green roof can keep a building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, reducing its energy consumption and in turn its running costs. It also increases a property’s worth by providing a valuable building asset. It’s one of those rare ‘speculate to accumulate’ building features that, because it has such an enormous bank of benefits, is likely to become much more commonplace in the future.

Sika intensive green roofing system at The Flower Bowl entertainment centre, Preston.

With this in mind, we have our Sika Green Roof systems. It’s a total package that allows specifiers to choose from a range of high-performance waterproofing systems that best fits their project’s needs – whether that’s hot melt structural waterproofing and reinforced bituminous membranes, single ply or a cold-applied liquid membrane – with the appropriate Sika Green Roof system installed on top.

Our expert roofing team is also available for advice on design considerations, specifications and technical calculations, on-site inspections and can give the roof its final sign-off. In addition, our network of highly trained contractors will aid hassle-free installation meaning that the roof is fully guaranteed before the green roof goes down, and that its all from one supplier, so reducing the risk of damage by other parties.

www.sika.co.uk/greenroof


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