I stay on the top floor of a block of flats, and lately with the temperatures reaching 30-36 degrees Celsius, it has been really hot inside.
As the temperatures go up, on go the air-conditioners to try to keep us cool.
But what with the recent Eskom power failures and the need to reduce the amount of electricity used, I was thinking about how a country like South Africa could really benefit from using plants for insulation on roofs - "Green Roofs."
Provided its done properly, the savings on cooling and heating costs could be quite considerable.
The soil, and plant material act as a far more efficient method of insulation, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter.
Other benefits of Green Roofs include:
- It could reduce the amount of surface water runoff
- An effective water filtration system
- Protection and extended life of the roofing membrane
- Improves the air quality in and around the building
- Green Roofs could improve the environment - attracting birds and butterflies
- Makes for an attractive looking roof - especially when viewed from above
- Harvesting of vegetables etc. for food
- Sound insulation
A more detailed look at Green Roofs can be found here.