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  • TIGA Green

Extensive vs Intensive Green Roofs

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Green roofs have exploded in popularity in recent years as they improve the sustainability and livability of buildings. In this short post, we'll look at the two main types of green roofs: extensive and intensive.

Extensive green roofs are the most common type of green roof. Typically lightweight and low-maintenance, they are a good option for residential and commercial buildings. Extensive green roofs have a shallow layer of growing medium (less than 6 inches), which limits the types of plants that can be utilised. However, extensive green roofs can still provide several benefits, including:

  • Reduced rainwater runoff: Green roofs can help to reduce stormwater runoff by absorbing rainwater and slowing its flow.

  • Improved insulation: They help to insulate buildings, lowering energy costs.

  • Biodiversity: Providing birds, insects, and other wildlife a place to call home.

  • Improved air quality: Improve air quality by absorbing pollutants.

Intensive green roofs are more complex and require more maintenance than extensive green roofs. However, they can also support various plants and be used for recreational purposes, such as gardening or dining. Intensive green roofs have a deeper layer of growing medium (6 inches or more), allowing larger plants like trees and shrubs to grow.

Intensive green roofs can provide all of the same benefits as extensive green roofs, but they can also offer additional benefits, such as:

  • Increased property value: Research shows that green roofs can increase the value of properties.

  • Improved mental health: Who doesn't love green spaces? Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve mental health.

  • Reduced noise pollution: If you live in a typically noisy area, green roofs can help to reduce noise pollution.

An extensive green roof may be a good choice if you want a low-maintenance option that can provide several environmental benefits.

If you are looking for a more complex roof that can support a wider variety of plants and be used for recreational purposes, an intensive green roof may be a better option.

Here are some other things to consider when choosing between an extensive and intensive green roof:

  • The size of your roof: Extensive green roofs are typically lighter than intensive green roofs, so they may be a better option for roofs with weight restrictions.

  • The climate in your area: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as hot summers or cold winters, you may want to choose an intensive green roof, which can provide more insulation and shade.

  • Your budget: Extensive green roofs are typically less expensive than intensive green roofs.

  • Your personal preferences: If you are interested in gardening or dining on your roof, an intensive green roof may be a better option for you.

Find out more over on our green roofs page.

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