How Much Does a Green Roof Typically Cost?

July 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm

green roofFacing the environmental challenges that we have in today’s world has made building and garden design experts think outside the box. Some major cities throughout the USA are turning to green roofs to help with these environmental challenges. Take Chicago for example. Already you can find more than 600 green roofs throughout the city and this is just the beginning. The City has a stated goal of becoming the greenest city in the USA. Green roofs can help cool a building, provide a place for storm water to be caught and also make life more pleasant for those that get to enjoy it.

Green roof styles vary depending on the climate of the town or city, the design of the building that the green space is being placed on, the design and aesthetic qualities wanted and the intended use of the green roof (whether it is used as a garden or purely as a way to insulate a building).

How much does a green roof cost and what is the ROI?

Depending on which type of green roof you install, the cost can be anywhere from $15 a square foot to $25 plus if it is a more intensive system. The cost will also depend on what kind of design you are looking for along with which plant varieties are added to the garden. These costs will include all aspects of green roof design, from waterproofing to planting, and can vary depending on things such as the difficulty of access to the roof space.

While it may seem that the initial cost is quite expensive, installing a green space on your roof can help bring building maintenance costs down in the future.

How does a green roof reduce costs in the future?

There are a variety of ways that a green roof can help reduce future building maintenance costs:

  • Statistics have shown that plant membranes help protect a roof’s surface, blocking the sun and other weather such as rain and ice from deteriorating the surface. This means a green roof should last up to 4 times longer than a traditional roof.
  • Heating and cooling expenditures can be reduced by up to 30% in buildings with a green roof. The shade provided and the process of the garden removing heat from the air can reduce the surface temperature of a roof. Plantings will also provide insulation, thereby reducing the need for insulation to be added below the roof’s surface.
  • A green roof may increase the value of a property due to the improved aesthetics.
  • If you live close to an airport or deep in the city a garden roof may provide sound insulation making your building quieter.
  • A green roof can help reduce pollution and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If you are interested in acheiving LEED certification for your building,  a green roof can help towards this achievement.
  • You may find that your city has grants or offers tax incentives for installing green roofs, and credits can also be available when it comes to helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Having a green space can reduce the stress levels of those that view it regularly.

What costs are involved with maintenance once the plants are installed?

Green roof maintenance may be greater the first year, but once a roof is established it should not need regular watering, and weeding will be kept to a minimum. Annual maintenance costs can range from 0.75c – $1.50 per square foot.

Here at E-Landscape, we understand the hesitations that may arise when considering changes to your building. We work with your structural engineers and architects to make sure your building can take the weight of a green roof, and we bring our quality workmanship to your roof ensuring waterproofing, drainage and plantings will benefit your building and work well with your environment.