Green roofs, also known as vegetated roof covers, eco-roofs or nature roofs, are multi-beneficial structural components that help to mitigate the effects of urbanization on water quality by filtering, absorbing or detaining rainfall.  They are constructed of a lightweight soil media, underlain by a drainage layer, and a high quality impermeable membrane that protects the building structure.  The soil is planted with a specialized mix of plants that can thrive in the harsh, dry, high temperature conditions of the roof and tolerate short periods of inundation from storm events

Green roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also:

Reduce city "heat island" effect
Reduce CO2 impact
Reduce summer air conditioning cost
Reduce winter heat demand
Potentially lengthen roof life 2 to 3 times
Treat nitrogen pollution in rain
Negate acid rain effect
Help reduce volume and peak rates of storm water

The hydrologic processes that can be influenced by design choices and aid in the management of storm water include:3

Interception of rainfall by foliage, and subsequent evaporation.
Reduction in the velocity of  runoff.

Historically, engineered green roofs originated in northern Europe, where sod roofs and walls have been utilized as construction materials for hundreds of years. The development of contemporary approaches to green roof technology began in the urban areas of Germany over 30 years ago.  Because of ongoing water quality degradation and a limited existing infrastructure for the control of storm water in these areas, few alternatives were available for improved stormwater management designs. Environmental and economic considerations helped spur the development of green roof systems that could provide the necessary storm water treatment on-site.  Grease-CONTROL is one of the most Green Roof Friendly containment system available.

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