Rooftop gardens, also commonly known as a vegetated, green or living roof, are a bioclimatic strategy providing a vast array of benefits for both your home and the environment. It involves incorporating a substrate and vegetation into the roof of the property, thereby creating a natural and functional space.
Rooftop gardens protect the building by reducing the surface temperature. Solar radiation during the summer months can easily lead to fluctuations in temperature on the roof of over 50°C. As a result, the surface of the roof has to dilate and then contract again, thereby having to withstand a great deal of pressure. Thanks to a roof garden, these temperature swings are limited to around 25°C.
In contrast, in winter, a green roof garden acts as thermal insulation, helping to decrease heating bills.
Green roofs improve the comfort and quality of life of the occupants by becoming a pleasant natural oasis, while at the same time providing acoustic insulation, noises being absorbed by the vegetation on the surface.
- Rooftop gardens have become another way of achieving maximum energy efficiency and zero consumption.
- Over the last 10 years, ARK has sought to achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency in our creations by means of solar panels, storage batteries, geothermal systems, polarized windows, etc. The starting point is a sustainable design that is suited to the setting.
ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF GREEN ROOFS
- Improve the environment (enhanced air quality, less dust). The air is cleaner and the plants absorb the dust.
- Reduced drainage channel load in the event of heavy rain, melting ice or snow, or the drainage of flood peaks, the living roof behaves like a sponge that absorbs the rainwater before releasing it slowly into the drains.
- Additional habitat for birds and insects, creating ecosystems. They also enable small water cycles to be restored and reduce the greenhouse effect.
- Waterproofing effect: the green roof protects the water-resistant layer of the building, prolonging its useful life.
TYPES OF LIVING ROOFS
Different kinds of living roofs can be identified, the one to opt for depending on our needs and resources.
The ecological roof, also known as an extensive green roof, is formed of small autochthonous plants and has a depth of no more than 10 cm. This system is added to rooftop gardens mainly to take full advantage of the benefits it provides. This kind of green roof requires very little maintenance as the water supply is a natural process.
Ecological or living roofs are very suitable for common use in homes because they are a kind of sustainable, natural insulation that keeps the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As well as being easy to maintain, the vegetation grows quickly and can generally survive drought conditions.
The rooftop gardens known as intensive green roofs use a variety of vegetation such as trees, plants and bushes, requiring a substrate of over 20 cm. These sustainable green roofs require more maintenance and are more expensive than ecological roofs. This is no surprise because the building specifications for these green roofs are more complex and comprehensive due to the fact that their increased weight means that the roof structure requires extra support, and the watertight layer has to be reinforced to cope with the roots.
These rooftop gardens can often serve a variety of purposes, such as a play area for children or somewhere to go for a walk around.
If you would like more information about energy efficiency and zero consumption in our villas, please contact ARK Architects.
The most sustainable villa in Sotogrande. When energy efficiency and design meet by Manuel Ruiz Moriche.
Manuel Ruiz Moriche – ARK Architect
“We preserve the natural environment and take advantage of it within the project; when we have to integrate plants, we use native species that are already adapted to the environment to reduce water demand and we study the landscape in depth to integrate its own characteristics in the vineyards, for example, to filter gray water and use rainwater in the irrigation system of the plants” – Manuel Ruiz Moriche, creative director and partner of ARK Architects.