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Natural Awakenings New Haven & Middlesex Counties

Finding the Right Eco-Friendly Roof

Green Roof with lush vegetation

Ferrantraite by Getty Images/CanvaPro

While a house is usually a family’s biggest investment, improvements can be made to make it an environmental asset, too. 

 

Solar Panels

 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, just one hour of sunlight can provide the Earth with enough energy to power the globe for an entire year. Solar panels are a remarkable technology to harness that abundant energy and convert it into clean electricity. By installing solar panels on roofs, homeowners can significantly reduce their reliance on conventional energy sources and contribute to a greener future. 

 

Aside from their environmental benefits, solar panels can also save money on electricity bills. Research by Solar Reviews concludes that solar panel systems can pay for themselves within nine to 12 years through energy savings and various incentives. Plus, according to The Appraisal Journal, a home’s value can increase by $20 for every $1 reduction in yearly energy bills, making solar an excellent long-term investment. To get an estimate on how much can be saved by installing solar panels on a home, visit UnderstandSolar.org.

 

Green Roofs

 

Imagine transforming a roof into a vibrant oasis teeming with lush vegetation and blooming flowers. Green roofs consist of layers of soil, plants and a waterproofing system, which work together to create a natural haven atop buildings.

 

The Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings commissioned an in-depth metadata analysis of 200 green roof research studies. The analysis reported multiple benefits from living roofs. They act as insulators, reducing the need for heating and cooling and thereby lowering energy consumption. 

 

Green roofs add beauty and value to the building and are expected to last twice as long as conventional roofs. They also improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen; reduce the urban heat island effect; and retain rainwater, thereby mitigating stormwater runoff and preventing the flow of pollutants into rivers and lakes.

 

Green roofs provide new habitat for plants, birds, insects and other wildlife that struggle to find shelter in concrete jungles. By bringing nature back into cities, we can foster biodiversity and create a more harmonious coexistence between humans and the natural world. Visit SFTool.gov for more information on green roofs.