The “Get More Green” calculator, from American Rivers at green.americanrivers.org, allows visitors to enter an address via Google Maps, and determine the square footage of a building’s roof.
Visitors then get a customized look at the benefits of their green roof — including the annual estimated cost savings for heating, cooling, and roof repair, along with how much polluted runoff will be kept out of their local stream.
The White House, for example, could save close to $17,000 annually on heating and cooling costs and maintenance.
By absorbing rainwater and providing insulation for the building, a green roof prevents storm runoff from polluting local streams and reduces heating and cooling costs.
Every year, billions of gallons of rainwater fall on roofs, roads and parking lots. Instead of getting absorbed, this runoff picks up pollution and flows into nearby streams and rivers. Installing a green roof is just one way individuals, communities and businesses can save money and promote clean water through “green” or “natural” infrastructure.
Planting trees, installing rain gardens, restoring rivers and wetlands and embracing water-efficiency measures are other solutions gaining popularity thanks to their multiple economic, environmental and social benefits.