37 Reasons to Want a Green Roof

By PowerHouse Growers | Green Buildings & Architecture, Urban Design

If you’ve been following along it might seem like we’ve become a bit obsessed with green roofs. The truth is that sustainable green roof projects are one of the most economically feasible and environmentally friendly ways to integrate urban agriculture and vegetation into design and development – either new or existing. With plenty of full service professionals and consultants you can find the green roof that works best for your area, climate, and building. So sit back and reap the rewards. Here are the major environmental, health and social, and economic benefits of going green on your roof.

Environmental Benefits of Green Roofs

1. Decrease storm water runoff which is typically a source of pollution
2. Provide natural rain water absorption
3. Become a great way to harvest rainwater through catchment, filtering, and recycling
4. Mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
5. Lessen the Urban Heat Island effect
6. Increase biodiversity by creating wildlife habitats and sanctuaries
7. Improve local ecology
8. Reduce transportation emissions when used in roof-to-plate restaurant concept
9. Increase green infrastructure while lowering presence of non-sustainable/harmful urban infrastructure
10. Provide landfill diversion due to longer lasting roofing materials
11. Contribute to improved air quality for the city
12. Reduce community’s carbon footprint


Green Roof vs. Traditional Roof. Image via BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology.

Health & Social Benefits of Green Roofs

13. Create therapeutic and healing spaces for building’s residents and workers
14. Provide natural and organic food options for local community
15. Improve indoor air quality reducing risk of respiratory concerns and in some cases reversing problems
16. Become a community collaborative and hub for teamwork
17. Reduce Electromagnetic Radiation: The risk posed by electromagnetic radiation (from wireless devices and mobile communication) to human health is still a question for debate. Nevertheless, green roofs are capable of reducing electromagnetic radiation penetration by 99.4% (Herman 2003).
18. Provide educational opportunities and demonstration areas
19. Improve psychological well-being of residents and workers
20. Lower stress and anxiety
21. Establish biophilic practice reconnecting humans with nature


Green roof benefits. Image via American Society for Landscape Architects.

Economic Benefits of Green Roofs

22. Reduce energy consumption with integrated solar power system
23. Increase revenue potential by selling back to the grid
24. Reduce water consumption with rainwater harvesting system
25. Establish business model by selling locally-grown organic food
26. Increase re-sale value through aesthetic improvement
27. Increase longevity of roof materials
28. Reduce sound transfer (less need for sound barrier materials)
29. Increase insulation capabilities
30. Prolong life cycle of heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems
31. Decrease reliance on sewers and city infrastructure
32. Generate revenue by renting out rooftop spaces for private functions, classes or workshops
33. Create local jobs
34. Expand market base of growing industry
35. Availability of city incentives and government rebates
36. Improves fire retardation
37. Provides greater ROI and asset value

Once a building has a green roof installed the residents and owners will continue to experience residual benefits from the garden. As long as the green roof is installed properly with weight-bearing concerns addressed carefully, a green roof is a wonderful addition to your daily living. Learn more about popular ways to build green roofs at home or at work, and as part of an employee engagement system.

Do you know of any green roofs in your area that are making big impacts? Tell us about it!

Feature Image: Wonder Forest Concept in Beirut, Lebanon. Image via Beirut Wonder Forest on Facebook.

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.