The Surge of Ecoroofs

Urban planning and design have taken leaps and bounds in recent years with a strong focus on green space and a growing desire to take part in environmentally-conscious initiatives. As developers and landscapers coordinate projects for new construction, both residential and commercial buildings are offering new and innovative ways to improve outdoor landscapes, streetscapes, and urban sites.

Vegetative planning and design has evolved to developments in ecoroofs; ecoroofs are an exciting format and layout for buildings that capture the concept of a garden sitting atop anything from a garage, industrial building, or even single-family home. If you’ve ever wondered if there’s space available for your own garden beyond your land lots around your home, consider the possibilities of an ecoroof. Whether it’s a flat or sloped structure, the garden can be cultivated and maintained from a (literally) new angle!

Ecoroofs contain levels of layers comprised of asphalt, synthetic material, and real soil. The materials are pulled together with water-proof membranes to help create natural barriers for water runoff and drainage. In Europe, ecoroofs are being made with recycled clay for roof tiles. Recycled clay has been prized as a strong growing medium for fresh vegetation and irrigation. Eco roofs make use of vegetation mats, potted plants, and seed strings to create beautiful and flourishing mini-scapes.

The impact of ecoroofs on the environment has enormous positive potential. There are multiple benefits of a vegetated roof system that can offer a distinct design and layout for many sites. Plant enthusiasts and communities can benefit from an increased gardening workspace, but also contribute to healthy plant life, insects, and even animal habitats. Large-scale ecoroofs such as those found on large apartment complexes, housing structures, and commercial buildings show promise of neighborhood-cultivated communities. They provide a unique and dynamic space for growth, design, and harmony with the natural environment.

Re-roofing and installation can take time, energy, and resources, but the final product can be very rewarding. Re-roofing costs to cultivate an ecoroof on a standard home can range from $15-$20 per square foot for new construction, and $20-$25 per square foot for reconstruction. A building permit is also required from your city’s office of planning and development.

Whether you’re interested in cultivating a garden, a small landscape project, or adding a unique feature to your building or complex, an ecoroof is a growing trend that offers a fresh take on city-based greenscapes and structure. According to the Portland, Oregon Bureau of Environmental Services, an ecoroof can significantly reduce an area’s erosion and pollution levels, and possibility save various forms of wildlife and wildlife habitat. As more urban developers and planners pick up on the concept and trends across busy city centers, we may have an opportunity for some new landscape designs and raising awareness for sustainable environments.