The Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby

The Splatsin Community Centre in Enderby

Green roofs offer an array of benefits

Royal Roads course to teach about pros of having living roof

For aesthetic and practical reasons, green roofs have, quite literally, become a growing trend.

While the concept has long been in practice in Europe, it’s only recently that it has caught on in North America, but home and business owners are quickly discovering the benefits of a living, breathing rooftop.

Grant Sauer of NATS Nursery in Langley and a LiveRoof representative will be introducing the concept to a brand new audience on March 18, as part of a continuing education course at Royal Roads University.

First and foremost, Sauer explains, a green roof has numerous practical benefits.

“When a green roof covers your (roof) membrane, you are gaining significant longevity … such that you’ll not have to replace (it) in your lifetime,” he said.

A green roof helps prevent leaks by absorbing moisture during a storm, which also helps mitigate against storm water management crises that many municipalities might face during significant rainfall.

“In a storm event, all of the water rushes into your sewers and causes all kinds of damage,” he said.

With those benefits in mind, many American cities are offering rebates for people who choose to go with a green roof. “Washington D.C. has almost two million square feet of green roof installed a year because of storm water mitigation reasons,” Sauer said.

There’s little doubting the aesthetic benefits of a green roof and studies have shown that looking out onto a green rooftop can have a positive psychological benefit for office workers and even recovering patients in the hospital.

While many might think that only flat roofs are suited for this kind of project, Sauer says sloped roofs can work as well. “You just have to accommodate for that with what’s called retention barriers.”

Installation procedures will also be covered as part of the one-day course, and by the end of the day successful participants will receive certification for LiveRoof installation.

For more information and to register for the course, log on to the university’s continuing studies website ( and search for Introduction to LiveRoof in the course calendar.

It’s recommended that all prospective students for the one-day course register by March 4.