A Green Roof is a very popular addition to a new build today, a visual mark that you have created a sustainable home.

One of the main benefits of including a green roof to your new build project is of course the heat and CO2 absorption. They are also known to collect up to 70% of rain water. The addition of a green roof has really hit a peak in the South of England, especially London, where it is now a requirement for buildings of a certain size.

An intensive green roof, also known as ‘thick green roof’, is made up of a generous layer of soil, anything between 50-200mm +, used to grow a variety of flowers and herbs. These of course have to be maintained: therefore it is common to turn a green roof project into extra outdoor living space by adding an access solution, potentially a glass balustrade as a railing system and it is also common to use decking to create a seating area for recreational use.

To create an intensive green roof space it is necessary to make sure the construction of the home can support the weight involved with substantial roof support. Our Qwickbuild aluminium decking frame and composite decking boards are proving very popular for rooftop gardens as it is very lightweight and low maintenance, creating an environmentally friendly decking area set to last.

It is possible to create a more low maintenance green roof by utilising a shallow layer of substrate, anything between 20 to 100mm, with low-growing grasses and use the space just for that, without extending it to a recreational space.

Typically a green roof is possible to install on roofs pitched at no more than 30 degrees. Underneath the planting there are a number of layers all performing a valuable part in the effectiveness of the installation: structural deck at the bottom with a vapour control layer, insulation, sarnafil membrane, aqua drain, moisture retention fleece and growing medium.

TIP: when pricing up a green roof installation make sure you have checked the structural support in place and include in the price any reinforcement work required

If new to green roofs, it may be an idea to incorporate an installation in just a specific part of the roof to start off with instead of aiming to cover the whole roof surface, giving you the chance to learn about the idea, how to maintain it and understand the benefits it can bring to your build.

There are now many nurseries and seed companies who specialise in the supply of green roof plants, worth looking into before embarking on the project, learning which plants will work best for your project and the maintenance level they would require.

Published: 27th April 2016

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