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Do your part: Raise the roof

The properties on our homes and garages seem like a terrible waste of space – until you let Andy Creath plant them for you.

We rarely spend a lot of mental bandwidth on the health of our roofs unless they were recently struck in a hailstorm. But maybe we should. According to a 2014 study by Climate Central, an independent research organization on climate change, Denver had the third worst urban heat island effect of the 60 cities studied. The urban heat island effect is a phenomenon in which pavement, concrete and other heat storage materials lead to warmer temperatures in urban centers than in nearby rural areas. In Denver, this can mean a difference of up to 23 degrees between downtown and, for example, the edges of the Eastern Plains. For sauna lovers this may sound absolutely dreamy; However, urbanization coupled with climate change could result in our cities being cooked in ways that drain energy resources, endanger the economy and endanger human health – especially in low-income areas and in color communities disproportionately affected by climate change are.

Denverites can help move the thermometer down by greening the roofs of their homes. This is where Green Roofs of Colorado comes in. Founded in 2007 by former Environmental Protection Agency employee Andy Creath, Green Roofs of Colorado designs, installs and maintains roofs on residential and residential commercial buildings across the state, including the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Clyfford Still Museum. “An 800-square-foot residential green roof isn’t going to have the same effect as a 25,000-square-foot commercial roof,” says Creath. “But if 20 houses do this, it definitely adds up.” Creath also explains that green roofs – the basic versions of which cost about $ 25 per square foot, with no potentially necessary structural changes – add energy efficiency to the interior spaces below, provide space to grow your own food, hold back rainwater, and purify the air , increase habitat and biodiversity and actually protect your roof from hail damage in one satisfying twist. Below, Creath helps us explain some of the basics of green roofing.

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