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Why Do Architects Prefer Flat Roofs?

Why are flat roofs so popular with architects? In this article, Couvreur René Perron Ltée tells you all about flat roofs. We also invite you to discover our flat roof services, including the installation of elastomeric membranes and asphalt and gravel solutions


What is a Flat Roof? 

Contrary to its name, the flat roof is not completely level, as it has slight slopes that guide water to a central drain, effectively channeling any excess water to the sewers. This clever design helps to reduce the formation of heat islands, especially when the roof is covered in a white membrane and decorated with vegetation. In addition, the flat roof provides enough space for the integration of wind turbines, solar panels, and even a living space.  


The Origins of the Flat Roof in Montreal 

During the twentieth century, a new architectural movement emerged, advocating the use of flat roofs in urban settings. During the interwar period, renowned architects of the modern movement, including Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe, presented their vision of contemporary roof architecture, seeking to bring forth an innovation that they believed captured the essence of the era. 


Around 1875, during the influx of workers into Montreal due to the Industrial Revolution, the introduction of the flat roof became important. This style of roofing, which originated in the working-class towns of northern England, quickly gained popularity in mass-produced duplex homes in areas such as St. Henry and South Centre. These roofs were built with innovative methods, using layers of felt, asphalt, tar, and gravel. 


Even today, the flat roof remains one of the most popular roof styles in Montreal. 


Advantages of Flat Roofs  

  • The flat roof and its simplified structures is more economical to build than a pitched roof. 


  • Waterproofing the surface of this structure tends to be more cost-effective due to its smaller surface area compared to a pitched roof. 


  • It’s an extra outdoor space when you can integrate other elements such as a wind energy system, solar panels, greenery or a patio. 


  • The upper rooms are well-lit and have a more conventional shape. 


  • The simplified design of the structure allows additional floors or wings to be added as needed. 


  • Minimizing the impact of wind and weather on non-essential surfaces reduces the need for repairs, resulting in less maintenance. 


Transform Your Roof in Saint-Leonard into a Roof Garden! 

By incorporating a rooftop garden, one can easily add green spaces in urban areas. Indeed, these hanging gardens have the remarkable ability to integrate with the surrounding architectural structures. Given that flat roofs in urban settings can make up 40% of the total area, they are a promising opportunity to address the pressing environmental concerns we face today.  


Contact Couvreur René Perron Ltée today to transform your flat roof in Saint-Leonard with our wide range of roofing services.  


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