Green Roofing (1)

Posted on 14th October, 2010

Hi everyone,

After a holiday break from blog writing, I have accumulated a huge amount of eco building information to pass on. The following is the first in a new series of practical advice and as always, is as a result of a question that some of you hace recently asked.


Ever since green roofs became ‘mainstream’ there have been many successes but also many failures. Most failures result from using the wrong plants, neglect, poor growing medium or a combination of these.

4 Points For Success

Maintenance is essential: Especially right after installation, attention to maintenance can make or break a green roof. A landscape contractor who is experienced in green roofs can often spot and deal with problems before they run out of control.

No plant is native to a roof:  A green roof isn’t a garden, and unless the owner wants to invest in a complex design that includes irrigation and deep soil, stick with tried-and-true green roof plants for most of the roof area. Try accent plants in protected areas or those where the medium can be mounded to provide more soil depth, not all over the roof.

Use the correct growing medium: Green roof growing medium from an established supplier might seem expensive, but it’s been formulated and tested to support plants on a roof and stay physically and chemically stable over time. It’s also generally inhospitable to weeds.

Embrace the learning process: Many building owners / managers have some setbacks in their effort to green the roofscape. Some failures are highly visible, so remediation is part of a public learning process - which can only be good for the community in the area around the green-roofed building.

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