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Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans

5

Green Roofs

The height of owning a sustainable home would be to install a green roof.  Green roofs are part of sustainable construction in most major cities and in many parts of Europe.  These eco friendly buildings contain an actual living roof made up of plants and grass.  A true green roof system reduces heating inside the home or building by up to 30-40 percent, making it a natural air conditioner.  In the winter months, soil and layers of other material significantly increase the insulation levels in the roof, reducing heat loss and keeping the home warmer. Additionally, installing a green roof adds to the health and beauty of the natural environment and replaces soil that is displaced during construction.

Where green roofs may be great, they are not always practical.  Many homes do not have the structural means to support a living roof, or their local zoning laws may not permit such a project.  Homeowners in these circumstances don’t have to give up their efforts for a sustainable home.  Products like reflective roof coating can help by reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, keeping the home cooler and reducing air conditioning bills. 

Since much of the electricity in the U.S. is generated by burning fossil fuels that create air pollution, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool buildings helps to reduce the production of air pollutants.  Like any other large purchase, make sure that the product you are buying has the ENERGY STAR seal of approval.





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