Could Green Roofs be a Solution to Flooding?

If we added a little more greenery into our densely concreted areas, the impact of heavy rainfall could be decreased. So could green roofs be the solution?

green roof

Flooding is once again in the news in the UK, thanks to a series of storms which have battered the country since before Christmas, devastating homes and lives nationwide. But could introducing a little more greenery into built up areas slow down the impact of heavy rainfall?

Densely concreted areas are one of the key factors which contribute to flooding. Without enough greenery to absorb sudden rainfall, water simply has nowhere else to go but our Victorian drains and sewer system, which can’t always cope with sudden, heavy downfalls.

James Edwards, co-founder of Eco Green Roofs claims: “green roofs enhance drainage of any flat or pitch roofs because water has to pass through soil in the system.” This absorption process allows water to be released back into the drainage system much more slowly. This prevents drains and sewers from being shock-flooded with water, allowing them to cope better with water and drain it away more efficiently.

Eco Green Roofs combine their building expertise with high levels of research in order for their product to generate the most benefit, creating bespoke options as well as working with architects who wish to follow their own designs. Depending on how much load your roof can bear, there are a number of green roof options available.

Of course, flood prevention is just one of many benefits that green roofs can offer, including:

  • Insulation- helps to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in the summer

  • Roof preservation- with an ever-renewable surface, a green roof can extend a roof’s life for up to 50 years

  • Generating cleaner air

The last point is perhaps the most significant. Our urban areas are in desperate need of greener spaces to improve air quality, and with space so limited, looking up, rather than out seems to be the best option. A 1000 metre squared area of greenery is able to offset nearly 5000 tonnes of carbon a year, whilst reducing sulphur levels by 37% and nitrous acid by 21%. This helps to combat acid rain and general poor air quality, making greener areas healthier and more pleasant places to live.

While planning permission and practicality can sometimes pose complications, green roofs have been shown to bring value to individual houses and to entire areas with their air purifying properties, and could also prove to be of great benefit to those concerned by flooding or outdated drainage systems.

Image sourced: pnwra

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