Paint? OK, just kidding.
Seriously, there are several aspects to making a “green” roof. One aspect is energy conservation. If you live in an area that tends to get pretty hot, you might want to consider a highly reflective roof. Duro-Last offers a line of reflective roofing known as Cool Zone that has a high reflectivity.
Some shingles are made with asphalt, and typically, asphalt is not eco-friendly (unless it is one of the alternative asphalts). In addition to the non-eco-friendliness, they also do not insulate very well, and they tend not to last very long.
Wood shingles are a nice alternative, except that in order to be fire safe, they often require treatment with retardants that are not “green.”
The best alternatives are either metal, clay, or slate. These can be expensive, but are typically durable, and insulate well.
You can super-green your roof by installing solar shingles as well.
There are several companies that offer green roofing materials, often employing recycled materials, and often less expensive than the metal, clay, or slate shingles. Check out the links below for some of these alternatives.
It depends on the type of green roof you want to make. There are some very simple was to make your roof greener. For example paint your roof white, or install a light colored roof, as this will reduce the heat island effect. This is because darker roofs increase heat absorption while lighter roofs reflect heat. Now if you are referring to green roofs in the sense of vegetation growing on your roof you will need to consult an engineer that can assess whether or not your roof needs to be structurally retrofitted in order to support the loads of the vegetation and growing media. Once you have done this a green roof is composed of a waterproof barrier, a drainage layer, growing medium and then the plant vegetation.
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