Taking Green to a Higher Place…with Green Roofs


Taking Green to a Higher Place…with Green Roofs
  • Posted June 14, 2012

MasterTag has raised the green roof on environmentally conscious workspace; in fact, they’ve raised four green roofs! These expanses of colorful and drought tolerant ground cover-type sedums offer beautiful views from the second story windows of MT headquarters and multiple benefits to the budget and environment. The natural processes of the plants, combined with the attributes of the layers of substrate beneath, allow green roofs to aid in fire prevention, extend the life of a roof, reduce heating and cooling cost and conserve water while reducing runoff.

Garden roof or green roof

Garden roofs, with containers or raised beds of ornamental and/or edible plants, are meant for intimate human to plant interaction in both the enjoyment and care of the plants. Green roofs, also called living roofs, are entire roof surfaces covered with fairly self-sustaining plants atop appropriate layers of moisture barriers and lightweight growing medium. They are more about environmental and cost benefits and many of them are not even visible to the public eye or access, as they quietly do their jobs in high up, out-of-the- way locales.

The benefits

A green roof’s multiple layers of substrate and plants have an insulating effect in both summer and winter (especially with snow cover), thus reducing loss of heated or cooled air from the building. The natural transpiration of the plants also has a cooling effect, so air conditioning loads and costs are further reduced. The layers protect the underlying roof surface from the typically life-shortening ravages of sun, water, wind and fire. The planting medium and eventually the plants soak up rain water, greatly reducing runoff contamination of surrounding watersheds and strains on municipal drainage systems.

Installation can be simplified

The green roofs atop MGI’s home base were created using the Live Roof® system. This system’s “pre-vegetated”, easy to handle modules allow for the quick installation of mature plants, thus eliminating the costly and time consuming years of weeding and establishment many older methods required. This system scores additional enviro-friendly points because the trays the plants are rooted in are made from 100% recycled materials!

Yes, you can try this at home!! 

Small Green Roof Book

For anyone interested in DIY green roofs for home, garage, carport or shed; be prepared to research materials, load limits and building code restrictions. A great book to inspire and inform is SMALL GREEN ROOFS Low Tech Options for Greener Living by Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little & Edmond Snodgrass.

 

 

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Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.


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Taking Green to a Higher Place…with Green Roofs