Solar green roof as a cost-effective solution for climate-adaptive homes and business premises

Posted on Friday 26 May, 2023

Our buildings need to become more climate-friendly and due to urgent threats from energy and climate crises, we need to accelerate this process. A simple, quick and efficient way to make the roofs of both residential and commercial buildings more sustainable is to install a Solar green roof. This is encouraged with local subsidies and tax schemes.

Sustainable buildings

We need to build sustainably, there's no getting around that. But what does the term actually mean? A sustainable building is designed and built with the aim of minimising its impact on the environment, promoting the health and well-being of its users and reducing costs through energy and resource conservation. Some factors that are important in designing and constructing future-proof buildings are sustainable, recyclable and non-toxic building materials. In addition, water consumption is reduced as much as possible through water-saving devices.

Positive contribution Solar green roof to sustainable construction

Two key components of sustainable construction are greening and energy efficiency. By combining green roofs and solar energy using the Sempergreen Solar green roof, several benefits are offered that contribute to this. Sempergreen offers two Solar green roof systems: the Solar Sedum Roof and the Solar Biodiverse Roof. These green roof systems not only provide sustainable energy generation and cooling, but also contribute to biodiversity, air purification and water buffering. This is especially important in urban areas where green space is limited. Moreover, the aesthetic appearance of green roofs with solar panels offers a new way to integrate sustainability and ecology into the built environment. Finally, Solar green roofs can be easily scaled up for large roofs, ideal for commercial and housing association buildings, for example.

Two key components of sustainable building are greening and energy efficiency

The advantages of a Solar Biodiverse roof

Biodiversity has declined sharply worldwide due to human activities such as urbanisation and intensive agriculture. On the other hand, miles and miles of flat roof surface remains unused in most countries. Luckily, solar green roofs can make a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation and restoration in urban environments. For example, the Sempergreen Solar Biodiverse Roof is a green roof specifically designed to promote biodiversity, for example by combining Sedum and herb species attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators, and by creating habitats for birds and insects. Both the Solar Sedum Roof and the Solar Biodiverse Roof can be extended with a Biodiversity Package, where additional measures are taken to enhance biodiversity, such as adding tree trunks, host plants and sand mounds to provide more shelter and nesting opportunities. Promoting biodiversity on Solar green roofs can help restore urban ecosystems, improve habitat for endangered species and enhance the ecological resilience of urban areas.

Take a look at the green roof structure of the Sempergreen Solar Biodiverse Roof here.

Sloping green roof with solar panels

Although green roofs have traditionally been used mainly on flat roofs, there is now an increasing focus on green solutions on sloping roofs, especially in serial housing construction. Sloping green roofs are roofs with a slope, usually between 10 and 45 degrees, that are covered with vegetation and can be combined with solar panels. By incorporating greenery on sloping roofs, serial housing can offer a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional roofing. Sloping green roofs can help regulate water drainage, extend roof life, improve thermal insulation and promote biodiversity. Combined with solar panels, sloping green roofs can also contribute to renewable energy production, making them a win-win solution for both the environmental and energy performance of serial housing projects.

Greening of pitched roofs in serial housing construction

For both new buildings and renovations

Besides new buildings, a green roof with solar panels can also be used in renovation projects. The Solar green roof, for instance, is suitable for flat roofs with a slight pitch, which is common in existing buildings, and the Sempergreen vapour-permeable sloping green roof can easily be mounted on battens and thus serve as a replacement for the (scarce) roof tiles.

Solar green roofs are ideal for housing association buildings

Solar green roof for BREEAM and LEED

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are the most widely used green building rating systems in Europe. BREEAM focuses on measuring and assessing the sustainability of buildings and offers certification at different levels, ranging from 'Pass' to 'Outstanding'. LEED provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings, creating healthier places for people. Certification ranges from ‘Certified’ to ‘Platinum’. Applying a Solar green roof has a positive impact on both certifications and helps sustainable building projects achieve them.

Grant for green roof investment with solar panels

In response to the climate crisis, more and more initiatives are being taken to promote sustainable building solutions, including green roofs with solar panels. Governments and other agencies encourage greening through subsidies and financial incentives. Investing in a green roof with solar panels will not only help reduce the negative effects of climate change, but it can also be financially attractive. Grants for green roofs with solar panels can reduce investment costs and shorten the payback period, making it an attractive solution for both individuals and businesses. Visit your local government website to find out more about the grants and subsidies for green roofs and solar panels that are available in your area.

More information

Wondering how a green roof with solar panels can help make your (business) premises more sustainable in a simple and financially attractive way? Then contact one of our green roof experts. They will be happy to help you! 

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