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Green Roofs vs. Cool Roofs: What's the Difference?

By Mary Ripley on  May 24, 2017

An energy efficient roof is a great way to keep your home cool and save on energy. There are two main types: green roofs and cool roofs.

A green roof is made of a layer of live plants and contains a drainage system for rainwater. They can reduce pollution and make buildings cooler.

There are two main types of green roofs: extensive and intensive. Extensive green roofs use plants that require no maintenance, while the intensive roofs can use any kind of plant but require maintenance.

Rooftop garden in urban setting

An intensive green roof.

The average green roof costs about $15-20 per square foot. A cool roof is just like a regular roof, except it is designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat by using reflective materials. They typically use reflective paint, coating, or shingles. They cost roughly between $0.75- $3 per square foot depending on the type of material used.


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