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The climate continues to decide what season we are in from day to day, we all perceive that something is wrong and we realize that it is necessary to reserve more space for greenery on this planet. This does not mean demolishing cities but, for example, transforming them. A clever and interesting way to do this is to fill it with green roofs. It is not a way of saying, it is really about green roofs that we can install on the buildings of our streets with great advantages. Both for us and for the environment in which we live. To begin with, there is a greater retention ofrain water, an improvement of the microclimate local and a reduction of thermal changes for those who live in a building with a green roof.
Green roofs in the city: what they are
Fortunately, these roofs which are a practice of sustainable architecture, architecture not always listened to but in this case yes. Urban centers are increasingly rich in green roofs that redevelop many buildings if not entire neighborhoods. There are several cities that are organizing themselves to spread them more and more, their climate and air are at stake. Not only roofs but also green walls with the help of fat plants and not.
Green roofs in the city: advantages
Having a green roof over your head is not a great savings in economic terms but not even a great loss. Of course, those who decide to install one are not doing it purely to save money but for very different reasons which, however, concern those who live in it and not just the environment in general. Even the selfish, therefore, may find themselves loving these roofs because they greatly reduce the thermal changes on the roofs of buildings. Good results in this regard can be obtained especially if we have some flat roofs made with waterproofing sheaths, those that we classically find on commercial or industrial warehouses. These, when the sun shines, can reach incredibly high temperatures, around 80 degrees. If we cover with plants, the sheaths remain at a temperature very similar to that of the environment in which they are found.
THE green roofs they can be a redevelopment and recovery of many buildings that can increase in value. In some more forward-looking cities, such as Bolzano, there are entire neighborhoods that have changed their face with these eco roofs. When something like this happens, changes to the microclimate of the area can also be recorded, the average summer temperature drops slightly and the season seems more liveable.
We also think about the amount of greenery which is present in our cities. Apart from a few exceptions, it is very little, but when it comes to cities that have been structured in a certain way and are densely inhabited for centuries, it is difficult to intervene to make room for greenery. Green roofs are particularly comfortable for the environmental compensation against land consumption. If we can't put green on the ground, we put it on the roofs, in the sky.
We also talked about retention of rain water. That's right, because thanks to the evaporation of plants and their ability to absorb solar radiation, a green roof can hold up to 50-90% of rainwater. This means that waste water in city centers is greatly reduced.
Green roof in the city: how to do it
On a new house, on entire new neighborhoods, you can easily plan green roofs but what if there are already buildings built? It is possible to create a roof so "ecological" replacing the existing roofs, always starting from an overall project. It is not an intervention that can be improvised, it is necessary to review the static loads and slopes, but it can be done.
Green coverage can be extensive or intensive.
The extensive includes the construction of a non-walkable roof low maintenance where succulents of the Sedum genus reign, the intensive is instead a real garden with many different plants and possibly even a vegetable garden.
Green roofs in the city: how much it costs
Between the intensive and the extensive, the cheapest roof as you can imagine is the extensive one, even easier to maintain well. Depending on the geographical areas, the price may vary but we can roughly say that it costs 30 euros per square meter, if the surface is from 500 to 1,000 square meters in total. After a first year of start-up, then maintenance is a fixed but not exaggerated cost, with a couple of interventions every year, to remove weeds, for example.
An intensive roof is certainly more expensive, almost double, but it provides very often a field and an irrigation system. Then, depending on the plants we insert, the price can vary a lot and of course maintenance is much more demanding.
If we want to complete the work worthily, we can also transform the walls of our homes into green walls. Always useful succulents and those systems metal boxes ventilated back to be applied to the walls.