Multifunctional roofs: which type of roof suits your project best?

Posted on Monday 04 December, 2023

Every roof has the same important function: to protect a building from external weather influences. In addition, roofing also has a water-retaining and insulating function. But a roof can be so much more! You can turn it into a roof garden, generate energy, or provide habitat for butterflies and bees. A roof that has more than one function is called a multifunctional roof. Curious about which multi-purpose roofs exist? To make this clear, each type of roof has been given a colour. Read below which type of roof best suits your project.

Green roof - space for nature

A green roof is a true haven for butterflies, birds, bees and other insects. It also contributes to a healthy and pleasant living environment for people and animals. For instance, greenery on the roof brings cooling during hot summer days. It also acts as an effective buffer during heavy rainfall, reducing flooding. Whether installed on a flat roof or a sloping roof, a green roof offers a versatile and nature-friendly solution. If you want to contribute to biodiversity, choosing a green roof is a worthwhile step!

Read more about the different types of green roofs

A biodiverse green roof

Blue roof - water management

A blue roof is all about water storage on the roof. Global climate is changing, leading to more heavy rainfall. The sewer system often cannot handle these large amounts of water in a short period of time. Therefore, it’s important to collect the rainwater and delay its discharge into the sewer system. The roof is an excellent place for this. Another advantage of storing water on the roof is that water has a cooling effect, keeping the indoor temperature lower. This is a comfortable side effect, especially during hot summers.

Yellow roof - energy generation

Energy is generated on a yellow roof, mainly by installing solar panels. The energy that is generated can be used efficiently within the building, resulting in significantly lower energy costs. Moreover, a yellow roof makes a significant contribution to sustainable energy generation and thus reduces CO2 emissions. Thus, the project contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect and to cleaner air.

Red roof - more space for recreation

A red roof is a roof, which is accessible to people. With it, you create an extension of a building's living or working space, for example in the form of a roof terrace. But you can do even more on a Red Roof, such as creating a vegetable garden so that your customers can grow their own fruit and vegetables. On a large scale, this can make the best use of scarce urban space.

Tip: When designing a building, consider the appropriate building structure from the outset to enable the realisation of a multifunctional roof. This approach provides greater freedom of choice!

Multifunctional roofs - the best of several worlds

Finding it difficult to make the right choice for your project? No problem! After all, different colours can also be combined on one roof. Below are some examples of combined multifunctional roofs. 

Green-blue roof

With a green-blue roof, also called a Retention roof or Detention roof, you combine the best of both worlds. Not only is excess rainwater retained on the roof for a long time, preventing overloading the sewer system during peak rains, the greenery on the roof also provides a healthy living environment for people and animals. Moreover, plants can retain extra water in their leaves and release the moisture back into the air through evaporation. A Detention roof can be installed on flat with a pitch of 0-2 degrees. If you opt for a Sempergreen Retention roof, you can even go for a combination with solar panels. This will give your project a green-blue-yellow roof, the ultimate multifunctional roof!

Read more about Retention and Detention Roofs

Freshly laid Detention roof on Vrumona office building in Bunnik

Green-yellow roof

With a green-yellow roof, you enhance the benefits of both colours. The solar panels are installed on top of a green roof. As the plants on the green roof reduce the ambient temperature, the efficiency of the solar panels is increased between 6 and 10%. In fact, solar panels function better at lower temperatures. And a green roof can create a temperature difference of as much as 30 degrees. This makes a Solar Green Roof an extremely sustainable and efficient roof!

Read more about Solar Green Roofs

Yellow-green roof on housing association buildings

Green-red roof

People feel comfortable in a green environment. If you are considering a Red Roof, then the combination with green might be an even better choice. A good example is FVC Hospital in Colombia, one of the best hospitals in Latin America. A roof garden has been created on the hospital's roof, accessible to both staff and patients. The result is a lush roof garden, where patients can unwind in the greenery, and staff can take a break in a relaxed atmosphere. The greenery also creates a 'Healing environment'; an environment where patients recover faster from their ailments. By making the greenery on the roof accessible to people, the roof has become a useful extension of the building, where people like to spend their time. 

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green-red roof in Latin America

Check out Sempergreen's different green roof systems

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