Your New Home's Environmentally Friendly Crowning Glory: Green Ideas for Your Roof

Posted on: 27 March 2018

Environmentally friendly home design can be approached from a variety of angles. While of course any house is built from the ground up, your new home's crowning glory can reflect the project's green credentials. There are two key ways in which your new home can have a roof that is both environmentally friendly and practical. 

Rooftop Solar Panels

Solar panels on a home's rooftop are a fairly common sight in Australia. There's no reason why your new home can't utilise these as well. They're unobtrusive, and while there can be some upfront costs involved in their purchase and installation, they will eventually save you money by sharply reducing the amount of externally supplied electricity your home requires.

Your solar panels (or solar photovoltaic panels to be technical) might even be eligible for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. This is a government rebate that involves the issuing of a certificate for the scheme, which will generally be given to your chosen solar panel provider and installation company in exchange for an upfront discount. The value of this certificate reflects the anticipated value of the energy that the panels will generate through to 2030, which is when the scheme comes to an end. So essentially, the sooner these panels are installed, the greater the value of the scheme certificate.

Green Roof

While rooftop solar panels are a figurative type of green roof, there's also the option for a literal green roof. Though not all that common in Australia, they are a regular sight in some cities around the world. Copenhagen has had a green roof policy for some years now. This requires all new developments (residential or business) with a roof slope of less than 30 degrees to have greenery on their roof. You're not going to have a forest on your roof, but a number of small, hardy shrubs suited to your local conditions. In addition to having a truly unique roof, there are a number of benefits to having a green roof.

  • The protective nature of the green roof can extend the life of the underlying roof.
  • The insulation properties of the green roof can reduce your usage of heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
  • When properly installed with gravel to protect the topsoil, a green roof can also be an effective tool when it comes to stormwater management.

The only true disadvantages of a green roof is that it limits the slope of your intended roof, and the weight can limit any future internal renovations, as in retaining walls cannot not be altered.

So while the notion of being environmentally friendly will be applied throughout the design and construction of your new home, the rooftop can be a major component of this.