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Living Roofs Delivers on Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability

July 22, 2020 living roof

Living Roofs, Inc. (LRI) is a small company headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina that works to “bring roofs to life.” Founded in 2006, LRI holds the title as the oldest green roofing company in the region. Their team includes landscape architects, designers, biologists, and construction experts, who all work to design, maintain, install, and restore green roofs. Living Roofs co-founder Kate Ancaya describes the team as having a “dedication to doing better when we can do better.” Living Roofs develops green roofs and living walls across the southeast through partnerships with residences, universities, hospitals, hotels, and many others.

Founded right before the great recession, LRI prides itself on having adapted and overcame hardships by creating an efficient and effective operational model. Even while maintaining this level of efficiency in operations, LRI is a Living Wage Certified company that shows care for its employees and their professional development.

Ancaya describes the role that green roofs play in sustainable development, and these roofs’ potential to help communities become more resilient in the face of climate related challenges. She details the benefits of green roofs that the work of Living Roofs would help further spread:

Ancaya describes the way that their green roofs can check boxes for environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Environmentally, green roofs combat the heat island effect, manage stormwater, and promote biodiversity. In addition to these environmental benefits of green roofs, Ancaya describes the economic benefits that come from saving money on cooling buildings and extending the lifetimes of roofs. In terms of social benefits, Living Roofs aims to mend the disconnect between people and nature, and hopes to bring nature into cities with their green roofs and living walls.

In the upcoming years, Living Roofs, Inc hopes to continue collaborating with institutions interested in sustainable development, with hopes that their efforts will result in more resilient and environmentally healthy communities, and help foster a deeper connection with nature. You can learn more about their projects at

About the Author

Kerina Patel, IE Cleantech intern who is majoring in Statistics and Analytics and Environmental Studies, class of 2021.