It is difficult to say exactly since when the green roofs have been in: They fluctuate between eco-fantasy and eco-solution, but it is apparently surprising and yet environmentally friendly green roofs always given in Europe and North America. But I remember a very special design and technology, a wonderful miracle built in 2008, on top of the San Francisco California Academy of Sciences. It has been a while since then and green roof design has evolved.
Environmentally friendly green roofs – green roofs also have financial advantages
Green roofs have proven to be naturally suitable and quite appropriate for many public buildings, thanks to their great ecological and financial advantages such as energy efficiency, storm and water security, noise protection. In this order we must not forget the birds and other small, harmless creatures that live on the green roofs. That is why there are now fixed rules for the “extensive” environmentally friendly green roof projects: the vegetation should grow in a flat (7.5 cm to 15 cm) layer of light soil in a special mounting system, over a waterproof membrane. Such projects are good for the environment, they add a lot to the beauty of our close surroundings and they arouse more interest in horticulture. With their implementation, even with reduced financial resources, you have more design freedom and for this reason, with a growing number of green roofs, there are surprises, innovation ideas and a wonderful feeling of experimentation and a lot of fun!
Would you like to take a look at a few examples of environmentally friendly green roofs??
Here they are specially selected for you: In Phoenix, for example, landscape architect Steve Martino has created a playful concept. Prickly pear cactus on a three-inch thick floor of native granite, on a low, flat, steel roof. And in the woods of the Washington Olympic Peninsula, architect Roy Hellwig from Sequim has also worked with local materials. This is actually a departure from typical earthbound plants. He covered his apartment with mosses, lichens, ferns. These are largely epiphytes (air systems) that require soil earths. The lightweight roof, for example, requires minimal maintenance and looks as if it is connected to the earth, as in the films “Hobbits Homes” and “The Lord of the Rings”. For those who want a similar look, Hellwig designed an easy-to-install mat, coupled with the epiphytic ecosystem that sticks to almost any roof or wall. He is currently working on a similar system for subtropical climates.
Environmentally friendly green roofs for your own house
Many designers use another possible working method for green roofs. You take different types of plants and mix the plant palette on the roofs. One such example is in Sonoma County, California, designed by Kevin Falkerson and Kerrie Lee Cole. This roof design shows a surprising variety of plants. On the 300 square meter roof of the house they used nine types of sedum, types of plants that attract butterflies – perennial carnations (dianthus) and flame flowers (phlox) – all visible from the upper floors of the house.
The roof garden of the architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, on top of his Washington apartment, can serve as a model for green roofing design. The living space comprises 270 square meters and is located on two levels. At one level, low plants (especially Sedum species) have been used; the other level contains a mix of sedum species with taller, drought-resistant grasses and perennials that require a deeper soil base. After six years, measurable results are already obvious: the green roofs retained 77 percent of the amount of precipitation that fell during the first data collection period, and the temperatures were astonishingly 14 degrees lower on average than conventional black roofs on neighboring buildings.
Green roofs are complicated and expensive to assemble
If you want to decide on a green roof on your house, then you should definitely apply to a landscape architect or designer. You need someone who specializes in the field, someone who knows building requirements, mounting systems, drainage rules, local conditions, plant species and maintenance well.
The cost of a green roof is around two to four times higher than that of building a regular roof. Before you start a construction project, you need to calculate your finances again.
Select plants for the green roof
The choice of plants for green roofs naturally depends on the local conditions. In general, roof systems have to be weather resistant; it can be hot, dry and very windy up there. The seeds could be blown away by the wind and still be attacked by birds. Irrigation needs are stronger in southern regions. Ed Snodgrass – an outstanding American garden designer has already gained a lot of experience with green roofs, he has already “designed green” over 100 houses. He mainly chooses low-growing sedum species because they are hardy and well suited for a green roof. He says: “Sedums only lose a quarter of their water volume compared to other plants.” He also recommends other hardy succulents such as roof root (Sempervivum), talinum, fringed houseleek (Jovibarba) and delosperma. For colorful accents or a varied texture and height, you can try perennials such as carnations (dianthus), flame flowers (phlox), bellflower, silvery cinquefoil (potentilla), yarrow (achillea) and violets (viola), or with small bulbous plants like muskrat ( Muscari) and crocus. Vegetables obviously don’t do well on the roof because they require too much water and rich, deep soil.
Would you like to install a green roof? Start small
Do you also want to explore the possibilities of green roofs? Ed Snodgrass suggests that you start with a dog house or a bird feeder. “This will take a good first step, getting to know the limits and opportunities of growing plants in such a shallow root space,” he says. And then there is no turning back, the way then only goes up, onto the roof!
Environmentally friendly green roof – roof terrace with garden
Environmentally friendly green roofs – buildings with a flat roof are ideal for this
Industrial buildings, former factories and even residential buildings are now being planted
Even pent roofs can be planted without any problems
Environmentally friendly alternative – park on the roof