Sustainable Home Features: The Green Roof (What it is and Why You Need One)

Updated January 30, 2019

Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

For many houses, the layout and design of their roof, as well as the materials used, are fairly common. Green roofs can be a huge source of pain for homeowners as well, where sticks and leaves can get on them, and leaks can cause expensive repairs. For the most part, a roof is a roof and you won’t see many variations between homes. However, a new kind of roof is starting to become more and more prevalent in modern homes: the green roof.

Today, we’re going to discuss exactly what it is and why your next home should incorporate one.

green roof
The green roof on this home, called Avalon, was created by ArchiBlox in Australia. Courtesy of Decoist.

The Basics of a living Roof

Green roofs (otherwise known as living roof), are a roof that is partially or completely covered in vegetation, planted over a waterproof membrane. These roofs can also contain drainage and irrigation systems.

Green roofs provide several benefits, including absorbing rainwater, providing thermal properties that can help reduce bills, and creating a habitat for wildlife (for those used on large buildings in cities), as well as looking aesthetically pleasing.

Let’s break these benefits down so you can truly see the benefits of the living roof.

Absorbing Water

Having a sustainable roof can be extremely beneficial to not only the homeowners themselves but also the community. Green roofs can help to delay the time that runoff occurs by absorbing the majority of rainwater, meaning that green roofs can assist in reducing the volume of overflows in a combined sewer system. Imagine never having to worry about a leaky roof while helping keep your community in tip-top shape as well!

Some green roofs even have the ability to store water for reuse, say for watering plants or cleaning the car.

Reducing Energy Bills

A green roof can help to reduce the heat flux through the roof. Basically, your home will be better insulated from conditions outside. So, with less energy needed for cooling and heating your home, you can save money on your monthly energy bills. So, in the summer a green roof will protect your home from direct solar heat. In the winter, these roofs minimizes heat loss.

Of course, energy conservation also means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

Habitat for Wildlife

While this can mainly be attributed to green roofs on large, office buildings in cities, we think this is such an important benefit that we want to talk about it.

It’s imperative that we understand that as we continue to expand our cities and build out more living spaces for local wildlife, we must figure out ways to coexist with our new neighbors. A green roof has the potential to serve as actual habitat for wildlife like birds. This can help lessen the impact of urban expansion on habitat loss, and just overall incorporate more nature into the concrete jungles around the world.

Who knows, maybe you’ll see some wildlife on your very own green roof!

Unique and Aesthetically Pleasing

While there are some folks out there who don’t love the look of green roofs, fans of sustainable homes tend to be.

Mu Architecture is the creator of this breathtaking green-roofed home in Canada. Courtesy of the Inhabitat.

A green roof makes homes more beautiful and eco-friendly. And there is just something about a green roof, that in addition to the physical benefits it provides, also provides a sense of calmness and relaxation. They also look great in wooded areas and other foliage surrounding them.

Interested in a Modern, Sustainable Home?

At Sustainable 9, we create gorgeous, modern homes that are built on the premise of sustainability. If you’re ready to create your forever custom-built home here in Minnesota, then give us a call today (612) 234-4194) and check out our recently completed projects to start gathering some inspiration for your own unique, eco-friendly home!


A custom-built home means you don’t have to sacrifice the details that make your home one-of-a-kind. View our award-winning work and get inspired.

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Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

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More energy efficient than a standard new construction home* *based on HERS ratings


0% Stinky. Committed to - reducing or eliminating VOCs and toxins in the homes we build* *Receiving the EPA's Indoor AirPlus certification on every home we build


Tighter and less leaky than a standard new construction home* *based on blower door test/air leakage results

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