Green roofs make sense for property owners and developers

23 May 2018

Read about our research, local government’s effort to increase green roof uptake and why one leading property developer says that green roofs are a ‘no brainer’ in this story by James Hancock from ABC News.

The story presents evidence of the benefits of green roofs obtained by PhD students Zheng Zhang and Andrew Pianella as part of our Australian Research Council grant.

PhD student Zheng Zhang at work on a green roof.
PhD student, Zheng Zhang at work on a green roof.

Key findings include:

  • A 10-centimetre-deep substrate could absorb up to 95 per cent of annual rainfall in Melbourne.
  • Modelling for a single-storey brick office with a concrete roof shows potential savings of up to 65 per cent in heating and up to 35 per cent in cooling bills.
  • Green roofs offer energy, stormwater, biodiversity and human productivity benefits. Some of these are relatively small and others significant but when added together the case for green roofs becomes compelling.

Environmental and economic benefits would be similar for buildings in Adelaide and Sydney, where climates are similar to Melbourne. We hope to use the data and models from these studies to quantify the benefits of green roofs in different cities around Australia in future research.

For more information please contact Associate Professor Nick Williams from the Green Infrastructure Research Group at