Do you need a Green Roof NOW?

And no, we don’t mean painting your roof green. We’re talking about bringing a touch – or, more accurately, a heap – of nature onto the very top of your house, earning you all-important sustainability points and getting you one step closer to getting your official, shiny, lime-green eco-warrior badge. Picturing it already?*

*(No, it’s not a real thing, but we’re sure if you make yourself one, it’ll be a good conversation starter).

But seriously. The idea’s been around so long that even the ancient Greeks knew they were onto a winner with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – which were, undeniably, a true wonder of the world for more reasons than one. The perfect balance between man-made and nature, we believe they are crucial to building with and within our surroundings, but what makes them so important you need one NOW?

Ask yourself these questions, and you’ll soon find out…

Want to lower your energy consumption?

Let’s kick off with point number one: high thermal performance and increased energy efficiency in your home. Which means? A green roof helps protect your house against high summer temperatures, but it also helps keep the heat in come winter. And a warmer home means you need less heating, automatically cutting down on your energy bill while helping keep temperatures steady year-round.

But the savings don’t stop there. What if a green roof helped you harvest rainwater too? Good news: they do! Green roofs absorb water, getting the absolute most from the elements while filtering out pollution and providing an efficient drainage system, all while providing better insulation. The result? A house that’s that much closer to being net-zero, sustainable, and, above all, comfortable, year-round.

That’s one point to green roofs, but we’re only just getting started.

…and your carbon footprint?

Unlike conventional roofs built from materials that absorb heat and transfer it into the house, the plants on a green roof dissipate all this energy through evapotranspiration and photosynthesis. That’s right, they actually work to protect the materials (and house) underneath from the elements, ensuring they’re not exposed to direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations, reducing the heat transferred indoors…

And, thanks to all this: making a green roof last twice as long as a conventional roof!

With a bit of TLC here and a touch of maintenance there, it’ll be years before you have to replace it, which means fewer materials need to be sourced, transported and moulded to make a new roof: an automatic reduction to your long-term effect on the earth. But a green roof also contributes to the absorption of toxic substances, filtration of pollutants and carbon dioxide, and the release of oxygen into the atmosphere, directly improving air quality: a perfect, authentic contribution to reducing your footprint, whichever way you look at it.

How about using your roof as additional garden space?

Sure, while the environment may be top of your list of priorities, we’ve already established that a green roof ticks all the boxes there, so let’s move onto a different perk. One that’s slightly more self-serving:

Green roofs are pretty.

There, we said it – and you have to admit, they do add a unique touch to any home.

We’re talking contrasting colours, textures, lighting, and other decorative elements that make your roof pop. Then there are the things you can add to make it really feel like a garden: coloured stones and sand, flowerbeds, and little pathways and even a water fountain could all come together to make your rooftop the perfect place to spend a warm spring day or for stargazing on a summer’s night.

Is that three points to green roofs now?

…and creating biodiversity

Last but not least, think about the life you’ll be adding to your home by building in so much more nature. In the Algarve, drought-resistant plants that thrive in the sun are a must, ensuring your canopy stays colourful year-round. Check out some of our lowkey favourites here or go all-out with vivid oleanders or even a bougainvillaea or sweet-scented jasmine, unique passion flowers, robust grasses, or a range of cacti, with any combination bringing interesting textures into your environment. And all of that is sure to attract birds and butterflies, producing perfection in your penthouse reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Convinced? Then head up to your roof to give it a look-over. You’ll wonder how you never saw the buckets of potential up here before, and we’re pretty sure you’ll find that NOW’s the time to turn your roof into your own little slice of paradise – in more ways than one.

Trust us on this.

Anabela Macieira
Core Architects — CEO and Founder