Green roof is crowning glory

By Monique Beaudin
Montreal, QC Canada (May 18,2011)- A green roof in Montreal dramatically cut air conditioning and heating costs in a 100-year-old duplex in Plateau Mont Royal, a new study has found. Air conditioning requirements were cut by at least 91 per cent, and the energy needed for heating dropped at least 27.4 per cent, the study found. Over 10 years, a green roof could save $2,320 to $2,904 in heating and air conditioning costs, it concluded.


Green roofs offer many benefits in urban centres, by absorbing storm runoff, filtering air and noise pollution, and reducing heat island effect, where large concrete or paved areas absorb heat, increasing the temperature in the surrounding area.
“In new construction, it costs very, very little to put in place the structure to support a green roof,” President of the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, Owen Rose, said. “Once that structural capacity is there, even if you don’t have the budget for a green roof right away, you could put one on five, 10 or 15 years later without any trouble.”
About 100 green roofs are in place or being built in Montreal, including several new municipal buildings, park chalets, libraries and fire stations. Rose said people living in existing buildings where the cost of installing a green roof could be prohibitive can take steps to combat heat-island effect by removing concrete, planting vines along building walls, and planting trees, which provide natural air conditioning and beautify the surrounding area.
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Green roof is crowning glory