Green With Envy? A Green Roof Guide

I will be honest! When I saw the price of the quote for the living roof I wanted for our studio I did have a “how much’ moment. But I knew the difference it would make to our garden. 

So why bother spending all that extra money? You already pay for one roof, so why pay for another?

There are two main reasons……

The most obvious one is how it looks. If your roof slopes towards you or if you can see it from an upstairs window it is so much nicer if your building blends into its setting of your garden. Your living roof can be made up of grasses, wild flowers or sedums. I chose a sedum roof over flowers or grasses because I wanted to see it change through the seasons. In spring it bounces into life providing a vivid green carpet, in summer it blooms in tiny white and yellow flowers, in autumn it turns into a fiery red and in winter I settles to a brown/green. 

There is a growing body of evidence that the visual and physical contact with natural greenery provides a range of health benefits to people. These include the reduction of stress and physical benefits in the provision of cleaner air. Access to green space can bring about reductions in a person's heart rate and blood-pressure, and can aid general well-being.

The second reason to choose a living roof is an environmental one. More plants can help our environment in many ways including providing food and homes for a number of insects and wildlife as well as improving the quality of the air around us. They also act as an excellent insulators providing greater thermal performance and roof insulation for the buildings they are laid on. They can also be excellent natural sound insulators.  Another point to consider is the role it will play in providing a U.V. light barrier for the EPDM rubber. The biggest cause of damage to flat roof coverings is UV degradation and the green roof system would increase the longevity of the rubber by years.

Spacetwo can provide you and your garden room with a beautiful living roof. Just ask for it to be included in your individual quote. 

Still not sure? My advice is to go for it if it doesn’t stretch Your budget too much, I promise you will love it more every time you look at it. It will be worth every extra penny.

Technical Points to Consider

Make sure that your roof can take the weight of your green roof. If you are putting it on an existing building obtain a structural engineers report.  

A green roof can increase loading on a roof by 85-135kg per square meter depending on the type of green roof system and plants used. 

You must put down a EPDM rubber roof first and it must be the thicker premium (1.52mm) rubber, which is used.

A living roof can be put onto any pitch of roof but as the gradient increases, the system needed becomes more complicated and costly. 

Your roof system must include a root barrier, drainage layer (flat roof) and water retention layer (pitched roof). Your Green Roof also needs to have a barrier to stop it from sliding off. metal grids like the one below are the most common but wood with drainage holes drilled can also be used.

There are also modular systems available, which are an ‘all in one’ solution, providing you with an instant living roof, which will look after its self!

You can fit a living roof quite easily yourself, however there are many companies, which will supply you with your green roof as well as fitting it. 

You may have to weed and water your roof at times!

Spacetwo's very own Green roof!