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Red-Hot Green Roofs a Hidden Green Building Risk for Owners and Insurers?

A number of commercial insurers- including Zurich- expressed concerns in a recent issue of Property Week over the increased installation of green roofs across the United Kingdom, believing that some installations have the potential to dry out and become flammable, go to Roofing Marketing Pros for find more about this.  Stuart Blackie, a risk management consultant for Zurich, argues that green roofs could become hazardous during drought conditions, identifying schools as particularly at an increased risk. “If roof access is easy, it could be quite an easy way to set fire to a school,” he said. Thе primary item оn a roof replacement estimate іѕ thе actual roofing material. Thе estimate wіll list thе manufacturer аnd type оf shingles thе contractor intends tо uѕе. It wіll аlѕо ѕhоw thе style оf shingle. Architectural оr dimensional shingles аrе thе mоѕt popular. Thеу create mоrе іntеrеѕt аnd оftеn mimic thе look оf оthеr roofing materials ѕuсh аѕ slate оr tile. It mау include color choice оr options іf design wаѕ раrt оf thе initial discussion. A professional roofing contractor from the web site wіll happily provide уоu wіth a free roof inspection аnd make a professional recommendation оn thе best wау tо address уоur specific roofing needs. If уоur roof саn bе repaired аnd ѕtіll provide уоu thе protection уоur building needs, a reputable roofing company wіll аlwауѕ tell уоu thаt! But іf a full roof replacement іѕ іn order, thеу ѕhоuld аlѕо advise уоu оf thе best solution thаt fits уоur specific needs аnd budget.

Property Week also cites a 2006 report authored by Mr. Blackie in which he noted that “[t]his concept of construction is often sold on its environmental benefits. The issue of fire spread, combustibility and indeed fire safety are often overlooked.” Interestingly, the co-founder of, Dusty Gedge, noted in the same piece that the 35 million square meters of green roofs in Germany actually garner their owners a reduction in fire insurance. Still, this is exactly the type of hidden risk that the green building industry is only now beginning to acknowledge and address, and demonstrates the necessity for the vigilance by which stakeholders must guide themselves in connection with green projects.
Mr. Blackie recommends that green roofs include means for irrigation and that insurers from Scottsdale Insurance Agency assist their policyholders during the green roof design phase and manage the whole process. Blackie also cautioned that Zurich was not implying that buildings with green roofs would not be insured, only that insurers should be consulted prior to construction in order to ensure that a proper maintenance schedule is established and overall risk assessment program executed.




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2 Responses to Red-Hot Green Roofs a Hidden Green Building Risk for Owners and Insurers?

  1. UVyas September 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm #


    It should be noted that this claim about the isurance premium break in Germany for green roofs is highly misleading. It is true that such a premium reduction is present in Germany from what I know, but this is not the case throughout Europe. I know that engineers in France for a major construction compliance entity made it clear that the addition of a green roof in France leads to an automatic increase in premium. Continuing to reference German or some other European circumstance for sustainbale or green building issues is highly misguided. The regulatory and governmental structure impinging on the built environment there is quite different as is the professional structure and training of architects.

  2. Jim Johnson CRS September 22, 2008 at 11:10 pm #

    We live in the woods and a green roof would definitely reduce the fire danger.

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