A green roof is essentially a flat roof with a planted garden. The possibilities are almost infinite, with the green roof serving as a recreational area, utilized for a vegetable garden, or simply grown for the benefits of a green roof. The roof must be prepared by qualified green roof contractors because there are important steps involved for a successful roof garden.
Benefits of a Green Roof for Your Building
A green roof has numerous advantages over the traditional flat roof, although that flat roof still forms the foundation of the rooftop garden or the bedrock of it. The most obvious benefit is the increased visual appeal of the building, which is no longer capped with a boring surface. The correct selection of plants will ensure a visual feast during every season of the year.
Adding the plant layer will significantly extend the lifespan of the waterproofing membrane on the roof by protecting it from UV light and preventing freeze-thaw cycles. The plants will furthermore reduce the contribution of the building towards any urban heat island effect, thus stabilizing the local micro-climate. The reduction in the building’s cooling energy consumption will be apparent.
The soil and plants of the rooftop garden can retain up to 75% of rainwater if the landscaping is done with due consideration of local weather patterns. This will reduce the burden on immediate stormwater systems. The green roof will also act as a natural air filter, especially if specific plants are chosen that have a natural uptake of urban pollution gases. All these benefits can contribute to a sustainable building certification rating. A green roof in a city will help maintain the biodiversity necessary for life on earth by providing sanctuary and food sources for insects and birds.
The Disadvantages of a Rooftop Garden
Unfortunately, for all its benefits, a rooftop garden also has some disadvantages that should be considered beforehand. The first disadvantage is the cost of installation. It stands to reason that the construction expense of a green roof will be significantly more than a standard flat or sloped roof. This cost is compounded when an existing roof must be strengthened for the additional weight of the soil, retained water, and plants.
The second disadvantage of a rooftop garden is the requirement for gardening services. A green roof requires constant and regular maintenance, unlike a plain roof that can survive on triennial inspections by approved roofing and siding contractors. However, the broad consensus is that the advantages of a green roof far outweigh the negative aspects, especially when considering our obligation towards a sustainable future by reducing our carbon footprint.
Installing a Sustainable Green Rooftop
Care must be taken by all roofing and siding contractors when installing and establishing a green rooftop. The choice of plants must suit the architecture and the local climate, with sedums, succulents, wildflowers, and even small shrubs and trees being the most practical options. Professional green roof contractors will install the following component layers of a green roof (from base to top):
- Concrete deck with admixtures
- Vapor control layer
- Thermal insulation
- Separation layer
- Waterproofing membrane
- Drainage system
- Filter sheet
- Growing medium, and
Using premium quality materials is critical to prevent water seepage and soil rot. Adequate maintenance access must be available, and the gardeners’ safety must be always prioritized. For these reasons, always choose a qualified green roof contractor with a reputable portfolio of completed projects in your area.
About DB3 Roofing as Green Roof Contractors
We have been roofing and siding contractors in Northern Texas since 2000, and in that time, we’ve repaired and installed all types of old and new roofs on residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Green roofs are within our portfolio of expertise, with us working hand in hand with local landscapers for the best rooftop garden in the city. The synergy of modern architecture and green roof contractors builds a beautiful future.