Water Sensitive SA

Green roofs – Benefits

Benefit 1 - Reduced runoff volumes and peak flows (stormwater management)

Benefit 2 - Improved runoff quality (stormwater management)

A study by University of South Australia (Razzaghmanesh, 2012) showed that runoff water quality was suitable for irrigation and non-potable use. The study also showed that an extensive roof was more efficient at removing nitrogen and phosphorus than an intensive (deep) roof.


Benefit 3 - Reduced urban heat island effect
  • Evapotranspiration increased by a combination of vegetation and soil
  • Creating microclimates for buildings and urban canyons

Coutts AM, Daly E, Beringer J and Tapper NJ (2013) Assessing practical measures to reduce urban heat: Green and cool roofs. Building and Environment, 70, pp. 266-276.


Benefit 4 - Improved thermal insulation

Green roofs with a substrate of 500mm or greater provide insulation and stormwater management benefits, similar to existing ground surface.

Coutts AM, Daly E, Beringer J and Tapper NJ (2013) Assessing practical measures to reduce urban heat: Green and cool roofs. Building and Environment, 70, pp. 266-276.


Benefit 5 - Increased open space and visual amenity

In 2010, Toronto passed legislation requiring green roofs on all new developments over 2,000m2. Between 2010 and 2018, over 111,000m2 of green space has been added to the cityscape.

Greening the concrete jungle - Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco & Denver. Source: The B1M



Benefit 6 - Increased biodversity
  • urban wildlife habitat

Benefit 7 - Increased food production opportunities (urban agriculture)
  • pollination of crops and other important plants

Benefit 8 – Maintain atmospheric composition (CO2/O2 balance)

Benefit 9 – Improved air quality

Benefit 10 – Reduced noise

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.