Green Roof Construction – Facts Vs Myths

Green roofs, also known as eco-roofs, are becoming increasingly popular these days – especially atop commercial buildings. More and more commercial property owners are beginning to realise and take advantage of the many benefits that green roof systems have to offer. Some of the main perks include:

  • Improved waterproof protection
  • Limited flood risk
  • Carbon dioxide capture
  • Improved aesthetics

As with anything, a green roof does come with some drawbacks too, such as the initial cost of installation; but these are definitely outweighed by the benefits. What seems unfair to the humble green roof is the amount of misconceptions and assumptions that come with it too. Many people believe that green roofs are reserved exclusively for eco-warriors and naturists that want to save the planet. This is simply not true and so are a lot of the myths surrounding green roof construction.

So, let’s go on a fact finding mission and tackle some of the common myths associated with this type of roof installation. Welcome to our little game of fact or fiction!

Green Roofs Can Leak

Any poorly structured and ill-maintained roof can be prone to leaking, this much is obvious. There is little evidence to suggest a green roof is more prone to leaks and there isn’t much theory behind this assumption either.

In fact, studies suggest that a green proof actually protects the waterproof membrane of your roof and prevents damage from environmental elements such as sunlight and heavy rain.


Green Roofs Don’t Need To Be Watered

This all depends on where your building is situated, how old your green roof is and what kind of plant life resides there. If you have recently installed such a roof then you will still be in the ‘establishment stage’ and therefore the greenery may require some heightened attention to start the growing/flourishing process.

Many sources suggest that no irrigation is required, but if you live in a hot and dry area this is obviously not true.


Green Roofs Have Been Around For a While

Perhaps you have known about eco-roofs for some time now or maybe this comes across as a modern, fashionable trend in your eyes. Whatever your previous experience and knowledge of the subject may be, green roof construction are is an established trend that has been a popular choice for centuries

It is the development and execution of them that has progressed recently and therefore brought them into some limelight.


Green Roofs Are Too Heavy For Most Buildings

When a roof is designed before construction its weight load is already accounted for. This is simple logic. So if it is a completely new build, the weight of the green roof will already be considered and designed around. When it comes to existing roof tops, what do you think happens when it snows heavily?

Roofs are designed to take live loads and not just sit above your property. In addition to this, existing rooftops can be reinforced to handle extra weight at an affordable cost too. So this argument carries no weight.


Green Roofs Require Increased Levels of Maintenance

During the early stages of your installation your plants will probably require periodic maintenance and attention until they are fully established. Some amount of weeding will also need to take place right across the year too, but not as much as you would expect to do on the ground due to the elevated position of your seed dispersal area. Aside from this, you may have to check for moisture levels during dry spells and also get rid of dead/fallen leaves every now and then too.

So, although the maintenance work is slightly more than what you would have to do with a normal roof, green roof as extensive as people assume – plus it can be very relaxing!


Green Roofs and Solar Panels Go Well Together

If you really want to be environmentally friendly then installing solar panels on your property can help save the planet and save you money too! What’s more, solar panels actually work a lot more effectively on a green roof as the plant life helps to reduce the changes in temperature surrounding them. Many people assume there won’t be enough room but this simply isn’t true as solar panels are installed above the plant life.


Green Roofs Are Only For Green Buildings

Even properties that don’t have a specific eco objective or design can benefit from the economical and aesthetic aspects of having an extended green roof. In fact, installing a green roof can be a great way of making an impact on the environmental-friendliness of your building, should you feel your property is failing to play its part in this respect.

In Germany, green roofs have been proven to reduce heating costs and reduce rainwater runoff and therefore flooding. So it really doesn’t matter how green your property is, you can always make it a lot greener with an eco-roof!


Anyone Can Install a Green Roof?

Green roof installation is more than just simple gardening; it is a construction project that requires expert designers and competent builders. You must first analyse the structure of your property and consider the specific climate of your site before you even begin with the design stage.

Plant selections, drainage systems and material choices are all extremely important and must be chosen by someone who knows what they are doing. It’s not as simple as chucking a bit of dirt down and planting some daisies!

It is thoroughly recommended that you do not attempt to install a green roof by yourself and hire a team of professionals to do the job for you. If you require some more information on this please do not hesitate to contact us.


For more information on green roof myths and/or to obtain a quote on a green roof installation for your property, call us now on: 0800 046 1500.