Planted roofs have synergistic benefits that result in energy saving and stormwater management; they are an attractive alternative to traditional roofing surfaces. Planted roofs provide excellent insulation that reduce heat loss/gain from the building, filter and slow down stormwater from the site, and can beautify the workspace for occupants. When selecting plants for planted roofs, make sure that there will be little requirement for supplemental water. If supplemental water is required, consider collecting alternate water for irrigation.
While making changes to the roof, consider installing a solar hot water heating system. Solar hot water heaters, common in both commercial and residential settings, can save significantly on energy bills and frequently have a quicker payback period than photovoltaic panels. An even better way to save on water heating costs is to heat less water: high efficiency showerheads and faucets save both energy and water. The reduced demand at the fixture paired with the free heat from the sun may allow you to buy a smaller boiler and pumps, saving on both first costs and operating costs.