Green and Solar Roofing Solutions
With air pollution in larger cities and high energy costs associated with inefficient roofing systems, alternative roofing solutions are becoming more and more popular, not just among commercial building owners, but among homeowners as well. Recently we have teamed up with Anchor Roofing,Inc a Houston roofing contractors in order to adress this problem, Houston is a big city and we need any help we can get. So with their help we are going to service the Houston area when it comes to installing solar and green roofs.
So what are green and solar roofs actually? Well..
One of the ways to improve the quality of life with your roof is to consider green and solar roofing. Green roofs are basically roofs covered in vegetation, which can range from small shrubs and bushes to larger park-like recreational areas. Solar roofing is a term used to describe a roof with energy harnessing panels or shingles installed. Both can be used to reduce energy costs, with varying degrees of efficiency.
The Possibilities of Green Roofing
Green roofs can be used for a number of reasons. There are two types of green roofs: extensive and intensive. Extensive green roofs feature a shallower layer of soil placed on the rooftop, and they are used to plant smaller plants, such as vegetables and small bushes. They are also lightweight, so it shouldn’t be a problem for any building to feature this kind of green roof. Intensive green roofs, on the other hand, have a deeper layer of soil in which larger plants and trees can be planted. They require more maintenance and irrigation and are heavier than extensive green roofs.
It is important to note that green roofs are generally installed on flat roofs, but they can be installed on mildly pitched roofs as well. In order to find out if your house or building is eligible for a green roof installation, you should contact your roofing contractor and find out more.
Green roofs have been known to substantially enhance the air quality surrounding the building they are installed on. They also contribute to minimizing the so-called urban heat island effect which is becoming a big problem in larger urban areas. Plants are able to cool the air around them, gather air pollutants and filter harmful gasses which all contribute to the production of smog. Not only that – green roofs improve the aesthetic appearance of the city as well. By installing a green roof, you will use the otherwise useless space to add another green area to your city.
If you install a green roof, you will notice that your energy bills will keep getting lower. Green roofs have the ability to enhance the insulation of the roof, which is important in regulating the temperature inside the building. Also, green roofs contribute to the reduction of noise levels.
Recreational spaces can be installed on larger buildings with green roofs as well. Parks with benches and greenery will attract people, possibly educating them on the importance of saving the environment. Not only that – your green roof will help your building gain a status among possible buyers.
Biodiversity is another benefit green roofs offer. They can be home to many species, including insects and birds, especially migrating birds who can now have a temporary habitat.
Green roofs can also be used for farming. A large number of cities worldwide now feature gardens and vegetable patches on rooftops, which brings several benefits. First of all, your plants are protected from intruders below. Secondly, providing you or your city with local homegrown food is very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Solar Panels and Shingles
There are two types of solar roofs that you can install to your roofing system: solar panels and solar shingles. The latter type has been on the market since the early 2010s, so it is a fairly new product. It is important to know the benefits and drawbacks of each type to correctly choose what would be best for your home or building. Although they are not the cheapest money saving option available, it is worthy to consider them if you’re thinking in long term.
Solar shingles are, simply put, shingles which act as electrical energy producers as well. That means you won’t have to install solar shingles over the existing ones when you’re having your roof replaced – they will simply take the place of regular shingles, which means you will save money on the amount of material. Solar panels, however, require a full roofing system before being installed.
The installation of solar shingles is quite easy and quick, and it could even be done by homeowners themselves. The installation of solar panels requires more skill, knowledge, and time in order to be performed properly.
When it comes to looks, solar panels can sometimes be overly conspicuous and stand out among roofs in your neighborhood that do not feature them, which can be a problem for some people. Solar shingles, on the other hand, can be made to fit any roof design and are practically invisible among other shingles on your roof. Panels can be installed on virtually any type of roof, whereas solar shingles are generally installed on fiberglass shingles, which makes solar panels more adaptable.
When it comes to efficiency, they practically rank the same. Solar shingles in early production had lower conversion rates than solar panels; recent developments in technology (namely, using a material called copper indium gallium diselenide) have allowed for larger conversion rates, which can reach up to 20%, like the rates of solar panels.
Finally, the cost of solar shingles is significantly larger than that of solar panels since it is a new product and it is still being developed. However, the price is changing daily and it is only a matter of time when the mass production of solar shingles will take place and allow homeowners with modest budgets to have them installed.
Installing solar panels or shingles and planting vegetation on your rooftop are great ways to be environmentally friendly, to improve the aesthetics of your roof, and, what’s even more important to you, to reduce heating and electricity costs that can be a burden to your budget.
Even though they can be expensive, these solutions will mean a great investment in the long term for commercial building owners and for homeowners as well.