Green Roof Design

By , September 20, 2009 1:18 pm

Feeling overwhelmed when you do an internet search for Green Roofs?  You should.  Every manufacturer of roofing membranes, and many service or product suppliers who know nothing about roofing, are now green roof experts.

“A successful green roof is one that stays watertight and looks great over time — not just the first or second year.”

That statement sets the stage for how you should approach your green roof project design –

  • Lost in all the rhetoric is the need to design and detail a waterproofing system to ensure long term watertight integrity.  “The NRCA recommends a green roof system incorporate a direct-to-deck fully adhered waterproofing system.”  NRCA Green Roof Systems Manual 2007 Edition.
  • What is your vision for the roof area?  Do you want a simple Extensive garden roof with Sedums, or is the roof top area to be used for many activities and include paver terraces and other amenities?  Will your plant selection be varied and include annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees or ground covers, suggesting a Semi Intensive or Intensive Garden roof?
  • Plant selection and planned roof top use will dictate what components are used above the membrane to create an environment for the planted elements to thrive.  It is also important to understand options to coordinate these elements to create an aesthetically pleasing completed project.  This selection includes a properly blended growing medium.
  • Maintenance Considerations – Extensive garden roof are low, not no, maintenance should be treated as any other ground level landscaped area and will need a maintenance contract.
  • Responsibility – for Extensive (and some forms of intensive) garden roofs, it is in the owner’s best interest to place the entire system responsibility under one contract with a qualified roofing contractor with a focus on garden roof applications.  Along with this you should insist on a single source Garden Roof Warranty encompassing everything from the membrane through removal and replacement of the growing media.
  • Budgeting and Cost – options clearly come with a price tag and every project has a budget.  We have contractors with significant experience in the installation of the entire assembly.  We can put them to work for you

Where to Begin

Contact us. We offer a free service – our 24+ years experience in assisting architects and owners in the selection, detailing and specification of waterproofing and garden roof applications; American Hydrotech’s team of landscape specialists and soil experts; American Hydrotech’s 35+ years of unparalleled success in critical waterproofing applications. Our experience within our marketing area will offer you great insight, significant installed project experience and suggestions toward your development and design decisions.

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