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How To Make A Living Roof

Flat Vs Sloping Roofs

DIY living green roof installation

The easiest green roof installations are on flat roofs or those with a small slope consisting of no more than a 3-ft. rise for every 12 ft. of length. By keeping it under this, you do not even need stabilization. When you are installing a green roof on a steeper slope, you need to reinforce a system of a tray planting or create a terrace system for the soil to keep intact.

Watering your green roof during the hot season every once in a while is most of the caring thats required. Bear in mind that extension green roofs do not need much maintenance as far as trimming goes. For whatever reason you have decided to make your green roof, just remember to have fun along the way.

Editors Note: Chris Lundahl is an editor covering topics on construction, sustainability and roofing. He currently works for Arizona Roofing Systems.

Water Well But Not Too Well

The plants need water to help them settle in. As soon as everything has been installed, water the plants to the point of runoff. They shouldnt be allowed to dry out in the first few weeks so keep an eye on them particularly in hot or windy weather. Bear in mind though, that lots of water will encourage weeds to grow so try to get the balance right.

Ecological Perspectives On Green Roofs The Urban Watershed Approach

Eco upgrade with a green roof: improve insulation, reduce pollinator food dead zones, and prevent storm water surges

Green roofs are a beautiful and sustainable way to improve your personal ecological footprint. There are immediate benefits to your heating bill and roof longevity, and numerous benefits to the ecosystem around you. By installing a green roof you are also taking part in building thriving urban ecologies that:

  • Help increase indigenous pollinator species populations by planting a biodiverse green roof with local species, you are helping support your local pollinators, a group of insect ‘essential-service workers’ that are facing harder and harder working conditions worldwide. We suggest asking your local nursery for suggestions for plants that are great for supporting your local pollinators.
  • Reduce food deserts: most urban environments are dominated by cement, roads, and other surfaces where no plant life grows. Although we can walk quickly to the grocery store, imagine being a snail and trying to cross the street to get to the only bit of grass for miles. Food deserts contribute to biodiversity loss – by installing a green roof, there is more food for local species. You could be directly supporting the life of incredibly important keystone species!
  • Thank you for your service to the Earth!

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    How To Create A Living Roof

    Apart from looking fantastic, a living roof has many other wonderful benefits. Theyproviding insulation, a new habitat for wildlife and help to improve air quality in the local area.

    If you are wondering how to get started, here is a step by step guide on how to create your very own living roof:

    Materials you will need:

    • Water proof plastic/ pond liner & a protective fleece.
    • Timber this is to create a raised wooden frame around the roof.
    • Sedum, turf or a your wildflower of choice
    • Topsoil
    • Ladders

    The Diy Green Roof Guide

    How to Make a Green/ Living Roof

    Have you ever asked yourself the question I want to build a green roofbut it all seems so complicated? If you have, then DIY Green Roof Guide may well be ideal for you, wherever in the world you are thinking of building.

    This online guide is designed to meet the needs of DIY enthusiasts looking to put a green roof on a shed or outhouse, builders and landscaper contractors who want to build green roofs.

    This website based guide builds on the material and information in our original pdf The DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs which we published in 2008. That original information has been taken and updated, new and redrawn diagrams made, and multi-media items added. These include short to do videos on specific tasks. There are also publicly accessible videos on our youtube channel if you want a quick preview.

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    How To Build A Sedum Green Roof Structure

    As a social enterprise Greenside Up seeks funding from all avenues in an effort to provide support and education to people volunteering in social community gardens. During the last round of Local Agenda 21 funding, Carlow County Council funded a project in Gleann na Bearu community garden in Bagenalstown. During the spring of 2017 Greenside Up created a small living green roof structure and provided a morning workshop to the local community about creating living green roofs in gardens and how they can attract beneficial pollinators. The following details the steps we took to build the green roof structure and why we should all consider installing one.

    Before you begin to make plans, be aware that this isnt a project for tight budget. The material costs can quickly add up with an *inclusive sedum pack costing in excess of 45 per square metre alone. However with some basic maintenance, a green roof will happily grow for many years, outlasting patio furniture or barbecues. We bought our green roof package from Green Roofs Direct in Belfast who supply projects of all sizes, from 10m² to 10,000m². We also found Landtech Soils in Tipperary extremely helpful.

    What Are The Benefits Of A Green Roof

    When it comes to roofing, green roofs are, without doubt, one of the more visible signals that you have built a sustainable home. There is a lot of cynicism that they dont actually serve enough eco purpose to be worthwhile, but they do have some genuine benefits:

    • they absorb heat from the sun
    • they absorb CO2
    • they absorb a large proportion of the water that falls on them
    • they provide a degree of insulation more cooling the building in summer as opposed to staying warm in winter
    • critically, they replace the ecology that the building stands upon.

    Green roofs also serve an aesthetic purpose, helping to soften the look of rooftops and blend buildings into the natural environment.

    A green roof is, in ecological terms, a great and simple thing to do. It replaces the ecology the new house sits upon, thereby replacing the habitat that a house takes away. Used over a whole roof, a green roof will be the single overriding design influence on the house as well as impacting on the construction, right down to the foundations.

    But green roofs do not necessarily need to be applied to the whole roof, or even the house itself. If the roof is accessible, having just a section planted is visually pleasing and a step in the right direction. Alternatively, install a green roof on an existing shed or garage, or install an extensive system on a flat-roofed extension.

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    What Is Green Roofing

    A green roof system is an addition made to the roof of an existing building for growing flora. Depending on the type of green roof you install, the plants may be modular or have drainage layers. However, all green roofs include a few important features, such as waterproofing and root repellent, to keep the structure safe and undamaged.

    Craft Professions Make A Lot Of Sense

    How to fit a green roof to a garden shed

    It is not for nothing that there are skilled trades. With the ever more stringent requirements, for example through the Energy Saving Ordinance, the knowledge required about working on the house is becoming more and more extensive.

    One such area is the roof. Not every roof should be made and covered by yourself. To do this, you must first distinguish the possible buildings.

    • Carports

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    Building The Living Roof

    Since I already wrote about cutting sod for my roof, I will describe how the sod was loaded. Once the perimeter of the roof was covered with sod, we covered the rest of the roof. Doing the edge was the trickiest part, since I had the fold the EPDM underneath itself and leave a little bit exposed to protect the edge logs.

    Once that was done, it was only a matter of lifting the material onto the roof. People worked at ground level to pass the turf up to folks on scaffolding and ladders, who then passed the material to others on the roof. The turf squares were packed closely together so that there were no gaps. If any awkward gaps could not be filled with sod squares, loose soil was loaded into cracks.

    It was all fairly simple. Heavy heavy, but simple. I still have to load some sod up at the very top of the roof to completely cover the tractor tire skylight frame, but the roof is effectively done.

    The Different Roof Types

    Above-rafter insulation from the outside is clearly to be preferred. Thermal insulation and a vapor barrier or vapor barrier are attached. Whether it is a vapor barrier or a brake depends on the roof principle. Likewise, the order of the various separating layers, insulation, brakes, barriers, and the roof skin.

    • Warm roof
    • Inverted roof

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    Where Can You Grow A Green Roof

    For most DIYers, a flat roof is the easiest option for a green living roof. Anything up to a 10° is considered a flat roof. This means that shed green roofs are a very popular choice along with log cabin and garage green roofs. Having said that, any outbuilding or garden building with a flat roof is a suitable route such as bike storage units.

    Flat roofs are an easier option from a green roof construction point of view, but living roofs are able to grow on pitched roofs too. This means you can consider a house green roof or growing a green roof on an extension or conservatory.

    With intensive green roofs, you can consider any size or type of building as long as it can cope with the structural loading and irrigation requirements.

    Pitched Green Roof Design Considerations

    Ancaya Green Roof Garden Shed

    Green roofs are suitable for any pitch of roof. However, when dealing with a sloped green roof with a pitch of more than 9.5°, youll need a design solution for retaining water and ensuring the substrate stays in place.

    There is no steepest pitch for a green roof they can even grow vertically.

    If you have any questions about creating your green roof then contact our team on 0117 982 3282.

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    Who To Talk To About Green Roofs

    If youre interested in building a green roof, there are a few individuals that you should contact to ensure the safest, most cost-effective installation.

    Firstly, bring in a structural engineer to not only ensure that your roof can handle the weight of such a job but to better understand what you can do to further protect your home in the process. If the weight of your green roof shifts or changes, you may need to take the time to restabilize portions of it, moving planters around for better support and safety. Restabilizing portions of your roof may make an important difference in protecting yourself and your investments.

    Secondly, reach out to a trusted contractor to see if they complete green roof jobs, as well as to get a quote. Even if youre considering doing the work yourself, its wise to get the information for all your possible options before selecting one.

    Third, youll want to speak with an organization that grows plants specifically for green roofs. The cost of these materials will be important to consider, whether or not youre using a contractor. Considering this will also give you an idea of what the transportation charges average, depending on how far away the group lives from where you are located. You can also take this time to ask questions about the intensive or extensive formats, helping you to make a decision on which type you will be working with moving forward.

    How Do You Build A Roof At Home

    posted on

    Do-it-yourselfers are always opening up new fields of activity for themselves. So it is not surprising that experienced do-it-yourselfers now also dare to try roof structures and roofing. Nevertheless, you should approach the roof covering with great care.

    You can only cover the pitched roof of a residential building yourself, for example, if you have in-depth specialist knowledge. But you can also dare to take on bigger and bigger jobs step by step. Below you will find valuable tips if you want to do the roofing yourself.

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    Planting The Living Roof

    On the east side of the roof, I dumped several buckets of loose soil so that I could put in several strawberry plants. I mulched the strawberries with straw to help conserve moisture.

    Eventually, I will plant wildflowers, grasses, and edible perennials on the roof, focusing on plants that are tolerant of drier soils and full sun. Since the sod is only about four inches thick, it is likely that the roof will dry out during high summer.

    Although yesterday was an incredible first test of the integrity of my living roof. At 6:30 p.m., we were warned of a tornado headed straight for Rutledge. Within 30 minutes, an inch and a half of rain had fallen, but thankfully the tornado turned at what felt like the last minute, and we were spared. It missed us by a mere 10 miles. I was happy to find that the soil remained intact on the roof, and none of the sod slipped. I didnt see any signs of wear on the rafters, either. Success!

    It will be interesting to see how the living roof ecology develops and changes over time. It will be especially nice once the individual sods root together and get totally established.

    First Make Sure The Building Is Strong Enough

    Making a shed living/ green roof for £25 (shed, garage, lean too, man cave, cabin) part 1 the before

    The Enviromat green roof build up were talking about is probably the least heavy way of building a green roof. But it is still quite weighty. The materials will weigh 40-45Kg per square metre. Then you need to factor in live loading. Live loading is temporary extra weight on the roof for example snow. Or you. Walking on the roof to install the matting or check the plants.

    You need to be confident that the roof and the building as a whole, can support an extra 120Kg per square metre.

    This green roofed summerhouse was designed and built by Edinburgh Based Caroline Grohmann of Secret Gardens Garden Design

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    Myths About Living Roofs

    There seem to be a lot of preconceptions about living roofs, most of which are wrong. Heres some myths you may have heard.

    1. Living roofs are hard to maintain. A living roof requires very little maintenance. The grass and earth protect the waterproof layers from sun damage, so the roof lasts indefinitely. And you never have to paint it or replace tiles.

    2. Living roofs will leak. As long as your waterproof membrane is laid correctly, and you have a decent root barrier, all is well. This is the driest roof Ive ever lived beneath in all my life.

    3. Expensive and tricky to make. I had no money and no building experience when I built my house. The living roof is probably the most inexpensive and easiest roofing option going, especially if you use a basic pumice/gravel and blanket system.

    Building A Basic Gable Roof

  • 1Understand the steps involved. Once youve chosen your style, design, and materials, its time to actually build your roof. The process can be broken down into four main steps, and they are:
  • Framing: this is the construction and installation of the roof frame, which can be done with premade trusses.
  • Sheathing: this is the layer of material that goes on top of the frame and provides the surface of the roof.
  • Underlayment installation: this is a protective layer that covers the sheathing. This step may also include the installation of an ice barrier on top of the underlayment.
  • Roof cover installation: this layer goes on top of the underlayment and protects the roof from the elements.
  • 2Mount the trusses. To complete this step, the wall frames of the building must already be level, plumb, and square. Use ladders or scaffolding if you are building the roof onto a building that is still a frame. Hoist the trusses onto the roof. This can be done either with many pairs of hands, or with the assistance of a crane.
  • Trusses are often spaced 12, 16, or 24 inches apart.XResearch source Your spacing will depend on building codes and how much weight the roof will have to hold.
  • Without a crane, it will be easiest to hoist the trusses up onto the roof lying flat, and once there they can be raised into position.
  • Once all the trusses are installed, install permanent bracing as per the truss manufacturers instructions.XResearch source
  • Repeat the same process for the other side of the roof.
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    S To Make A Living Roof

    1. Safety First

    The first step in the right direction is safety, sure you want a living roof but what you also want is to ensure that your roof can support the weight, therefore its good to check the soundness of the structure. Rain and snow can add to the weight also so take this into consideration. If youre not too sure about the structural soundness seek the assistance of your architect or a structural engineer.

    2. Whats the angle of your roof

    Every house is not the same, no matter how big or how small each house has a different style, which brings me to the next point which is the roof. Some house roofs are sloped at a different angle and then there are those that are flat, according to the style of your house roof will determine the difficulty or ease as far as installation and maintenance are concerned. A-frame should be installed especially if your living roof is on a slop to prevent it from slipping. When working from a roof that has a slop ensure that youre safe because when working from a sloping roof its easier to lose your grip or footing.

    3. Waterproof

    The first layer should consist of water and roof-proof membrane to keep the water and roots from reaching the roof. Use a single sheet to cover the entire area. A pond liner thats heavy-duty with an adhesive can be used, to ensure proper drainage mark all outlets.

    4. The frame

    5. Adding a substrate layer

    6. The final step


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