If you ask someone about an element of their dream house, one of the most common answers is a garden or a lawn full of green plants. Aside from the aesthetics and environmental benefits, things like waterproofing, heat repellent and energy savings are also major considerations in having a green yard. But for a lot of people, that dream is far from reality. Aside from the costs associated with it, getting the necessary space is always an issue so a green roof or a living wall especially in urban areas are common alternatives. But what if you can get most of the benefit of a green roof and a living wall with a cost of buying a paint?
What exactly is a green roof?
As the name suggest, it is a green yard on top of your roof. First you must have a structure sturdy enough to hold the weight. Some people also call it living roofs because it is composed of the following components: plants in pots or integrated into a modular system, waterproofing and drainage system and heat repellant mechanism.
Green roofs have a lot of benefits to any structure and to the environment. They insulate your roof that will lead to cutting down energy costs, reducing water runoff by absorbing it, creating oxygen and providing a place for local plants and animals. All these increase the value of a property but of course, it comes with a price. In the Philippines, hiring a local landscaping contractor will cost you Php5000 – 10,000 per square meter for design and installation which will vary depending on the complexity and your location. There are do-it-yourself solutions but it still relatively pricey considering the amount of time and effort needed to build one.
How about living walls?
For most homes in the Philippines who can’t handle the weight of a green roof or not within the budget for most structures, a living wall may be the next best option. It is a vertical surface that hosts plants which are also called green walls that can be installed on facades, free standing and even interior walls. Vines and other plants growing on structure of modular panels are common features of a green wall.
This can improve filtration and air quality, provide water purification, and reduce temperature and energy consumption not to mention their pleasing aesthetic. It can also provide an effective noise barrier. Green walls are usually cheaper than green roofs but varies drastically, whether you build it yourself, use a modular system or hire a contractor. It also depends on its size and type of plants.
An alternative solution
Both green roofs and living walls offer many benefits but are often too expensive or too much hassle for most people to have one. Because of that, a lot of people turn to thermal insulation coating as an alternative. Less the actual plants, you are getting almost every benefit of both a green roof and living wall including waterproofing, protecting the building and its contents, lowering energy consumption without eating up space but considerably lower in investment. Getting a cost effective and energy efficient thermal coating solution is definitely a win-win for the environment and the building owners.