In 2009, the city of Toronto approved a by-law that mandates industrial and residential buildings (buildings with a minimum of six storeys) to render 10% or 2,000 square meters of their roofs to green roof practices. There has been a lot of exposure given to green roofs, but many people are unfamiliar with what they are and how they work. Green roofs, or ‘living roofs’, will become a prominent feature in our urban areas and many international cities have already adopted green roofs for their buildings. Green roofs are fully or partially covered by vegetation. In order for vegetation to grow, a waterproof membrane is laid down, and sometimes additional layers are used for root system barriers, drainage, and irrigation. There are two types of green roofs, intensive roofs; where the membrane is thicker allowing for a greater variety of trees and plants, and extensive roofs; where the membrane is thinner for a light layer of vegetation. The benefits of green roofs include: the absorption of rainwater, or grey water, to be repurposed for building needs; providing insulation all year that helps reduce heating and cooling costs; creating much needed habitats for urban dwelling wildlife; and extra vegetation helps lower the temperature in spring and summer months in urban areas. While the Toronto by-law is intended for business buildings and larger apartment buildings, there are steps the average homeowner can take to reduce their impact on the environment and Dillon Bros. Roofing can help you make those changes to your home.