People around the world are always looking for new ways to combat the climate crisis. But homeowners, businesses, and buildings developers should look no further than the roof above them. Whether green, blue, or white, each has its own unique environmental benefit. Read on to see which roof may best suit your building or community.

Green

Likely the most trendy, the “green roof” is a different term for a rooftop garden. They serve a range of purposes — aesthetically and environmentally — including carbon-dioxide absorption, air filtration, and building insulation.

Green roofs can also act as a mini-ecosystem, serving as a habitat for insects, butterflies, bees, and birds.

In the U.S., Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and New York City are among the major cities that require or incentivize green roofs.

White

White roofs are beneficial to global warming because they substantially reduce heat.

Reflecting up to 85% of the sunlight that hits them, white roofs keep building coolers and save energy that would otherwise be used for air conditioning. Additionally, they don’t warm the air above them in the same way the standard black roof does.

A study of cool roofs in Chicago found that the air above white roofs is up to 8 degrees cooler.

Blue

A blue roof stores runoff water that carries pollutants into waterways. The stored water can irrigate a green roof or flush toilets for its building.

This prevents soil erosion in the waterways and protects drainage infrastructure from damage. It also lessens the demand on the main water supply.

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