Construction Today - October 2016 - 104

Commercial

By Marion McKnight

What's Up With
Blue Roofs?

G

reen roofs are all the rage with
new commercial buildings, but
the new "hot" - make that "cool"
- color in roofing is blue. And it's
not just about keeping things cool, although
that's a big part of it; it's also about storm
water management.
If you know what a green roof is, you can
probably guess what a blue roof is: instead
of being planted with vegetation, a blue roof
captures rainwater and either releases it slowly or retains it for other uses. It's essentially
the engineered cousin of setting a bunch of
pots in your backyard to catch rainwater.
According to Philadelphia-based Nocella
Roofing, blue roofs fall into four categories:
Weir dam - A weir dam roof mimics the
naturally occurring drain blockages that
can result from rooftop debris. Imagine all
the leaves and dirt on a roof being pushed

104

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM OCTOBER 2016

towards a drain during a storm and creating a blockage: if you were
to intentionally create such a blockage to stem the flow of water into
said drain, you'd be implementing the most rudimentary form of a
blue roof.
Container tray system - A container tray system is exactly what it
sounds like: rooftop trays capture rainwater and a layer of rocks regulate the rate at which the water drains. They're easy to install and easy
on the roof, as long as you protect the roof with a layer of durable material. However, they're relatively expensive and are prone to clogging.
Check dam - Think of a check dam roof as a waterfall - but,
instead of one steep drop, the water trickles over a series of staggered
barriers that follows the slope of the roof. It doesn't stop the flow of
water, but it does slow it down considerably. Because the retention
areas are shallow, the water evaporates quickly, which helps cool the
building. This is usually the least expensive type of blue roof, but, as
all things added to your rooftop, make sure it is installed correctly to
avoid leaks.
Off-roof container - Instead of storing rainwater on the roof itself,
this type of roof stores it in off-roof containers, which mitigates the
risk of leaks.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - October 2016

Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover2
Construction Today - October 2016 - 1
Construction Today - October 2016 - Contents
Construction Today - October 2016 - 3
Construction Today - October 2016 - 4
Construction Today - October 2016 - 5
Construction Today - October 2016 - 6
Construction Today - October 2016 - 7
Construction Today - October 2016 - 8
Construction Today - October 2016 - 9
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Construction Today - October 2016 - 128
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover3
Construction Today - October 2016 - Cover4
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