When Michael Whitfield started Charleston-based Green Roof Outfitters in 2008, he was sailing in virtually unchartered waters in South Carolina and was among the vanguard in the Southeast. …Also known as ‘living roofs,’ green roofs are simply a vegetated covering for a roof. That covering has an array of benefits beyond aesthetics. Green roofs reduce energy costs, especially during the heat of summer. They retain and detain storm water and increase the longevity of roofs by blocking ultraviolet rays and easing extreme surface temperatures. They also absorb pollutants.