The Benefits of Blue Roofs
Blue Roof

As technological innovation and design and style skills have improved, sustainable, cost-preserving options emerge

Sustainable developing approaches that have emerged in the past two many years go on to lead to progress in product engineering, software procedures, and style and design procedures that take into account the building’s relationship with its bodily and pure surroundings. It is now more widespread for all constructing components – each interior and exterior – to be examined for sustainable solutions. Becoming a single of the most significant exterior factors of the setting up, the roof is typically built with the intent of delivering sustainable and strength-effective supplies and techniques that benefit the building’s internal purely natural ecosystem. Facility supervisors should really also acquire into account sustainable attempts to reward the building’s external actual physical environment. One thing to consider that is both of those sustainable and gains a building’s bodily surroundings is the administration of a roof’s water runoff.  

Drinking water administration is turning into progressively much more important in today’s weather. A facility supervisor must now be cognizant of the effects that rainwater discharge from their buildings’ roofs will have on the surrounding properties and neighborhood. In some areas of the nation, flood threats have enhanced because of to far more regular extraordinary weather functions. Conversely, other regions of the state are dealing with h2o droughts that require storage of rainwater for potential use. In areas with aged sewer and drain programs (100-additionally years previous) restrictions are in position to minimize the quantity of water runoff into the sewer programs.

Drinking water management of roofs can be completed by installing blue or environmentally friendly roof assemblies. The application of the blue and inexperienced roof assemblies is not only a sustainable approach, but it will also aid professionals in giving positive get the job done spaces for staff members. 1 way to produce optimistic get the job done areas is through the use of outside parts. This can involve the use of pick out roof parts, as roofs can supply opportunities for use as added spaces for employee gatherings. 

Blue roof assemblies 

A blue roof uses a rainwater retention system to supply managed drainage of water from a reduced-slope roof. Not like classic reduced-slope roof devices that are made to straight away drain precipitation from a roof’s surface area, blue roofs are created to retail outlet the drinking water on the roof and regulate its launch as required. The retained drinking water can be little by little launched into the sewage system to reduce flooding or overflow, or the drinking water can be saved on the roof and utilized for other constructing requires – this kind of as irrigation, cooling the constructing, or h2o reserves. This variety of assembly removes the will need for cisterns, detention ponds, or underground storage tanks.  

The key gain of these systems is to lessen the movement level of drinking water from the roof into the sewer process. This is an crucial criterion in large city parts or spots with older, fragile infrastructure. Huge volumes of drinking water runoff or extreme water runoff in a brief span of time can guide to flooding or comprehensive structural problems to the infrastructure. Flooding can guide to comprehensive moisture infiltration into the building’s earlier mentioned-grade (openings in exterior setting up) or down below-grade (leaks at ground drains), triggering hurt to interior contents. The too much waterflow also contributes to sewer problems, this sort of as h2o key breaks. Damages can also increase down below exterior roadways and parking plenty demanding in depth, and pricey repairs. 

In regular reduced-slope roof apps the rainwater straight away flows to inner roof drains or exterior gutters and is disposed through drainpipes or downspouts absent from the building. Blue roof assemblies collect and retail store the rainwater away from the roof, avoiding the drainage technique from getting to be overcome. The retention of the rainwater is normally controlled at the drain by means of the use of specially developed restrictors that management the price of waterflow. The move command amount is identified via neighborhood code specifications and the properties drinking water use. The retention of the rainwater is saved with filter materials or fabricated void components that are put around the roof membrane concerning the final surfacing. The void spacing is established centered on structural load demands and drinking water move premiums.  

When contemplating a blue roof assembly, a structural engineer ought to be engaged in the style and design method as standing h2o has an approximate weight of 5.2 lbs per square foot. Typical void areas can incorporate water depth of 3.5 inches. That depth necessitates structural deck ability for standing water body weight of roughly 18.2 kilos per square foot.  

A handful of of the rewards of blue roof assemblies are as follows: 


  • Short-term storage of rainfall to mitigate runoff 
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  • Lowers stream charge of drinking water from the roof 
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  • Storage of water for reuse in other areas of the making, this kind of as irrigation or cooling 
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  • Make up the drainage and help levels for environmentally friendly roofs 
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  • Uncomplicated to maintain 
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Blue roof assemblies can be used on their possess with a ballast surfacing, or in conjunction with pavers or green (dwelling) roof assemblies. 

John D’Annunzio, president of Paragon Consultants and Paragon Roofing Engineering, Inc., has much more than 20 years’ expertise as a expert on jobs about the world. D’Annunzio, a design marketing consultant specializing in roofing and waterproofing components application and industry performance, has published four textbooks about roofing. He can be reached at [email protected]

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