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All about Roof Construction

Updated on July 15, 2011


Beyond basic necessity, roof construction types provide the opportunity to add beauty and style for the house. Homeowners can choose from different colors and custom construction styles that can fit their requirements. In this article, the most common types of roof construction are reviewed. In addition, the best type of construction for green roofing is adequately discussed.

Types of Roof Construction

Perhaps the most practical type to build is gable style roof. It is so designed so that rain, snow, or even hail can easily slide off the house. With this construction, the sides of the house remain open because of the triangular design of this roof type. This allows the display of the beautiful material used beside the house like brick, stone, or wood.

Similar to the gable roof is the hipped roofing style. But unlike the gable that has a vertical build along the sides, the hipped roof has slopes on both sides. The gentle slope of this roofing that forms a pyramid shape is ideal for square houses. An obvious tradeoff, however, is the meager space left for the attic. Repairs in the roof interior also proved to be relatively difficult because of the sloped construction. To get the most out from this roof without its disadvantages, quality builds are highly recommended. In hurricane-prone areas, the hipped roof design helps in preventing the wind from pulling the roof off the house.

The mansard style roof, on the other hand, features a flat top made of double pitch. It was first popularized in France as early as the Second French Empire. Since the roof is made to have a flat top, it can provide the largest possible area for the attic. With enough area, the attic can even be converted into the topmost floor of the house.

The Green Roof System

The green roof construction, which originated from European green roof systems and methods, has been in existence for more than 40 years. The success of the green roof industry in Europe is due mainly to the limited land resources of the countries sharing this continent. The expensive sources of energy in these countries and frequent storm water runoff in ancient sewer systems also contributed to green roof's popularity.

A green roof is constructed using a waterproofing membrane that allows for a growing medium to be placed over it. The roof can then be partially or fully covered with vegetation, hence, the name green roof. This green initiative not only absorbs rainwater, but also provides insulation and habitat for wildlife to flourish. It also helps in lowering

urban air temperatures and, therefore, alleviates the problem of urban heat island effect. Its construction is classified as intensive and extensive. Intensive roofs are thicker so that heavier loads are supported. Extensive roods, on the other hand, are lighter and can only support a light layer of vegetation.

The gentle slope design of the gable is the best choice for the green roof system among the other roof construction types. Green roof infrastructures are now seriously considered in other major cities beyond the cities in Europe. Landscape architects, roofing contractors, and urban city planners express support for this green technology.

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