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System Bundling

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When installing a planted roof, consider coordinating the installation with other related building equipment. Your building can operate more efficiently and potentially cost less up front when considering the impact of systems on each other. For example, placing vegetated areas around air intakes can help reduce the cooling load on the HVAC system during the summer. See the examples below for ideas on what technologies might best be bundled together.

Planted Roofs & Hot Water

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 excel...

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.

Optimize Energy Efficiency

Technologies:

As planted roofs provide a variety of benefits to many aspects of a building’s function, they can help improve the energy efficiency. Placing air intakes around vegetated areas can help reduc...

As planted roofs provide a variety of benefits to many aspects of a building’s function, they can help improve the energy efficiency. Placing air intakes around vegetated areas can help reduce the cooling load on the HVAC system during the summer because of the decreased temperature of air around the vegetation. Ensure that you take into account the reductions to the cooling load on the HVAC system when building a planted roof.

Optimize Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Technologies:

Planted roofs are a good solution for improving indoor air quality of a building. As air enters the building through fans around the perimeter of the building, it picks up air that has been in clos...

Planted roofs are a good solution for improving indoor air quality of a building. As air enters the building through fans around the perimeter of the building, it picks up air that has been in close contact with the roof and other building surfaces. Vegetation on building surfaces can clean the air.  When renovating or building a new HVAC system, consider adding a planted roof to your building to improve IAQ as well as numerous other environmental factors.

Solid Waste & Planted Roofs

Technologies:

When adding a planted roof to your building, it is important to not only consider how the construction materials are managed but also how management of planted roof materials will continue in the f...

When adding a planted roof to your building, it is important to not only consider how the construction materials are managed but also how management of planted roof materials will continue in the future. During construction, ensure there is adequate drainage to prevent erosion of the growing media from stormwater. Likewise, wind erosion can affect areas of the roof that are not adequately covered with vegetation. In these areas, consider installing a erosion blanket or mat. Growing media erosion can generate waste that that could have been avoided by taking extra care during construction.

If the planted roof is accessible by occupants with walkways or balconies, ensure to communicate to them to keep trash off the planted parts of the roof to ensure healthy plant growth. Maintenance staff should be briefed of the cleaning and maintenance procedure for planted roofs so as to minimize generated waste.

Planted Roof Replacement

Because planted roofs have large variety of environmental benefits, roof replacement should be done with all other building systems in mind. Decreases of the cooling load on the HVAC system should ...

Because planted roofs have large variety of environmental benefits, roof replacement should be done with all other building systems in mind. Decreases of the cooling load on the HVAC system should be taken into account to ensure that it is not oversized. There are also opportunities for using the rainwater that gets collected on the roof in many systems throughout the building as grey water. If this is done , it is important to integrate the roof into your existing water system. Finally, when replacing a roof, ensure that there is a Waste Management Plan to help reuse building materials and keep them from the landfill.