Green roofs hit Chicago with incredible environmental benefits



You may have seen a rooftop garden or encountered flower pots bringing nature to urban areas, but green roofs take this idea much further with sustainable environments created on the tops of manmade buildings. The city of Chicago has run with the trend of green roofs, which have been impactful in solving a common problem for the city’s residents: flooding. Here is a closer look at the growing trend of green roofs and the payoff that can come with a green roof installation.

What is a green roof?

A green roof is a roof that has been landscaped to provide a number of benefits to the building below. There are intensive and extensive green roofs, which each serve different purposes. Extensive green roofs are lightweight and low-maintenance, planted solely for their environmental benefits. Intensive green roofs are heavier and more hands-on, almost like parks sitting on top of large buildings.

How have green roofs spread through Chicago?

Major buildings in Chicago—including City Hall—have incorporated green roofs into their design to solve a major problem in the city. Because Chicago uses a combined sewer system, rainfall can flood the sewers, causing water to back up into people’s homes and overflow into the city’s surrounding rivers. Green roofs absorb rainwater and allow it to be repurposed within a building. An excellent example of green roofing in the Chicago area can be seen at Sebert Landscaping Headquarters, which features a 6,500 square foot green roof.

Green roofs in suburban Chicagoland are notably less common. “We as a local community haven’t embraced them yet because they’re so new,” says Jeff Sebert of Sebert Landscaping. “If we had more community support, more State and local support, we would see more people consider green roofs as part of their design for new buildings.”

What are the benefits of green roofing?

Green roofing can combat the urban heat island effect, provide insulation inside buildings, and divert rainwater for healthier sewer systems. Plus, green roofs are longer lasting, because they are able to stand up to the elements in ways that metal, tile and other traditional roofing materials cannot.

If you are considering a green roof for your business, Jeff Sebert at Sebert Landscaping can help you design the best solution for your needs. To connect with Sebert Landscaping, call 630-497-1000 or visit their website. 

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