Green Rooftops

What are they?

  • Instead of covering a rooftop with shingles or leaving it exposed with concrete, covering the roof with plants and vegetation

Where can they be used?

  • On any rooftop, but usually easier to install on flat roofs

What sectors commonly use them?

  • High Density Residential buildings
  • Residential
  • Commercial

How do they work?

  • Vegetation has a high natural capacity to store water


  • Retains storm water (70-90%), which a traditional roof does not
  • Filters water
  • Reduces heat of surrounding area as opposed to traditional, dark, heat absorbing building materials
  • Makes use of typically unused space
  • Decreases cost of building materials, since it reduces wear on roofing, heating, and air conditioning systems (due to improved insulation)
  • Reduces smog
  • Improve air quality
  • Soundproofing
  • Increase biodiversity, especially in urban areas


  • Need to care for the plants on the roof, which may be difficult in some locations
  • Requires planning and for larger installations, some more advanced materials

Other Information

  • Costs between $10-$24 per square foot depending on a wide variety of factors