About Green Roofs
The Origins of Green Roofs
Living roofs emanate from Northern Europe where plant material has been used as an insulation and protective layer to buildings for centuries. Increasingly their popularity has spread and the use for environmental, ecological and aesthetic function has developed. In addition, living roofs have become integral to water management policies in the urban environment, part of sustainability programs and essential in the development of cleaner cities where key species are used for their pollution filtration qualities. The living roof market now exceeds £30 million per annum within the UK construction industry and provides key planning and design directives in many areas.
There are Four Types of Green Roof Systems
1. Intensive Roof Systems
An intensive living roof system comprises a deep substrate bed, a blend of hard and soft landscape elements, extensive living roof systems, dramatic planting, species use and are generally found on roof podiums where the structure can tolerate weight loads in excess of 500kg/sqm. Intensive systems are often designed for multiple uses and permit heavier trafficking or communal areas, can incorporate sport and relaxation zones and offer a wide range of variety and finish.
2. Extensive Roof Systems
Extensive Living Roof systems are lighter, low traffic systems, more cost effective and primarily designed for ecological and environmental function. Systems generally have a reduced number of species and plant type, are suited to refurbishment and new build projects, have a thin substrate bed, 50-100mm and comprise sedum, alpines, wildflower, herbs, herbaceous and dwarf grass species. Extensive living roofs can be a blend of seed and plug or pre grown blankets
3. Bio-Diverse Roof Systems
Bio-Diverse Roofs are sustainable environmental roofs that use locally derived or site selected components blended to form a contoured substrate bed that is allowed to self-populate or is seeded. All material is screened for contaminants and blended on site before installation. The systems are used to achieve BREEAM ratings and manage ecological expectations of the roof system.
4. Modular Roof Systems
Modular living roof systems are pre-established and suitable for lightweight, pitched roof and refurbishment applications. Modular systems are self-condensed, include drainage, filtration, substrate and vegetation and clip together to provide an easy to install system suitable for commercial and domestic living roofs.