How a ‘Green Roof’ can Aid Buildings during Hurricane Season

stephen troese

There’s just about 30 days left in the official “hurricane season” on the East Coast of the U.S., but that doesn’t mean residents are out of the woods yet. Some of the most devastating storms in that area’s history have made landfall during the late October/early November window. Superstorm Sandy, which struck in October 2012 and left nearly 40 people dead and caused at least $70 billion in damages, is but one example. Stephen Troese sees what some could call the silver lining when it comes to storms of such power: Building with the worst of outcomes in mind can be an eventual benefit. As the co-founder of LRI Energy Solutions, water-saving and stormwater management projects have long been a part of Troese’s portfolio. Given the wet weather that has even threatened to ruin Halloween plans along the East Coast, it may be time to visit the stormwater management projects that Stephen has helped craft for clients who want to keep their facilities running with as few interruptions as possible.

According to CNN Newsource, high winds are one of the hallmarks of hurricane conditions. “A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane,” CNN notes, adding that a “hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.” Parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida were the most recent regions of the U.S. to be threatened by tropical storms, which won’t pack the same windspeeds but are just as a capable of delivering dangerous surges and flood conditions.

Stephen knows that hurricanes and tropical storms can’t be compares to run-of-the-mill rainfall, but opting for modern construction options can be a benefit to us all. A green roof, which is part of LRI’s “Water Savers” program, is exactly what it sounds like. The roof of a building that has been partially or entirely covered by soil or vegetation offers a number of benefits to both occupants and nearby residents. These include a reduced heating/cooling load on the building as well as an increased lifespan of the roof; the former is a huge boost for urban areas when summer temperatures soar. For those who don’t occupy or interact with the building directly, a green roof will reduce stormwater runoff and filter out pollutants – both of which are good for the local sewer system and purification plants.

According to Stephen, partnering with energy service companies during the construction planning process can provide modern solutions to ever-increasing weather-related problems. In future articles, we’ll explain how rain gardens and permeable paving systems can serve as additional means to the same end of stormwater management.