How to ensure a successful green roof installation

Addressing many of the environmental challenges that face urban residents, green roof systems have become an increasingly popular option for building owners, architects, and community planners. Not only due to their conservational benefits, but the social and economic gains that green roofs provide for communities and businesses too.

Making the most of green roofs starts with a successful installation though - and there are several points to consider.

So, if you’re thinking about creating a healthier, more biodiverse home or business using a green roof, it’s important to know what to look out for. Here’s how to ensure a successful green roof installation.

Green roof design is key

The first step to ensuring a successful installation comes from the green roof itself, and requires more than just research and planning. It involves the use of specific green roof and gardening knowledge, as well as the understanding and experience of using green roof systems.

For instance, factoring in the roof slope, expected annual temperatures, rainfall, as well as how much sunlight and shade the area will receive are all essential in the design stage of a green roof system.

These factors will affect how the green roof system is put together, installed, and maintained in the long run.

Think about the additional weight

Although green roof systems are typically lightweight, adding additional items to your roof could cause problems if not considered. It’s essential to make sure the roof is structurally sound and can withstand the extra weight.

Keep the green roof contents contained

Before thinking about the plants and flowers, you need to decide how it will remain sturdy and secure. By creating a frame around the roof’s permitter, the green roof materials such as soil and plants will be contained.

This should be achieved with a rot-proof, lightweight material that doesn’t prevent water from being drained away.

With our GrufeKit though, keeping the contents of the roof contained is even easier. As the soil and plants are already encased in their modules, creating a frame around the roof’s perimeter generally isn’t needed. However, if there’s no parapet or upstand of at least 100mm, a GrufeGuard should be added to protect the edges, keeping it all together and looking much neater.

Want to hear more about the GrufeKit for your green roof project? Head over to our GrufeKit page where we explore the benefits of using such a system, provide a guide on how to install it, showcase our range of GrufeTiles, and everything else you’ll need.

Choose suitable plants

Whether the roof in question is in sun or shade, there are plenty of plants and flowers to suit either of these aspects. You’ll find that many ‘sunny’ plants will thrive in some shade, while shaded roofs offer the potential to include a diverse range of wildflowers.

Using the GrufeKit, you can choose between wildflowers, sedum and wildflower, or just sedum GrufeTiles to suit your preference – and you don’t have to worry about which are suitable for you. All three can be installed virtually anywhere for a low-maintenance and easy self-installed system.

Don’t forget drainage

With all the plants, flowers and shrubbery on a green roof, rainwater will be naturally collected, and too much of this will cause a few issues.

By including a drainage layer to your green roof, any excess water will be dealt with and allowed to flow away freely. This will help to prevent any structural damage, as well as protect the plants from saturation and root damage.

To get an idea of the layers required, green roofs will typically be installed as follows:

  • Roof deck
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Drainage board
  • Filter sheet
  • Substrate (soil)
  • Vegetation (plants and flowers)

Sounds like a lot, right? Fortunately, the GrufeKit takes away the need to install each layer of your green roof separately. Simply clip the modules together on top of the protection fleece (which comes free of charge with the kit), and you’re ready to go.

Consult with a green roof specialist

To ensure 100% confidence in a successful green roof installation, it’s always best to bring an expert on board. Having installed over 30 million plants since 2008, we at ANS GrufeKit have the experience and knowledge needed to advise you on your green roof choice. For more information on how we can help, or if you’d like to discuss your green roof project with an expert, contact our friendly team at ANS GrufeKit today – we’re always happy to help and are standing by to answer any questions you have.