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  • Writer's picturegozzettcarpentry

Living Roofs also known as Green Roofs

living roof

Living roofs, also known as green roofs, are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing way to reduce urban heat islands and stormwater runoff. When selecting plants for a living roof, it is important to choose species that are drought-resistant, tolerate extreme temperatures, and have shallow roots.

Here are some of the best plants for a living roof:

Sedum: This is one of the most popular plants for living roofs due to its ability to tolerate hot and dry conditions. Sedum comes in a variety of colours and forms, making it an excellent choice for creating a diverse and colourful living roof.

Moss: Moss is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in shady and moist conditions. It can be used to create a green carpet on a living roof, and it is also effective at retaining moisture and reducing erosion.

Succulents: Similar to sedum, succulents are drought-resistant and come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are also low-maintenance and can be used to create a unique and attractive living roof.

Wildflowers: Wildflowers are a great option for creating a more diverse and vibrant living roof. They attract pollinators and can provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Herbs: Many herbs, such as thyme and oregano, are well-suited to living roofs due to their ability to tolerate dry conditions. They are also aromatic and can provide a source of fresh herbs for cooking.

Overall, when selecting plants for a living roof, it is important to consider the environmental conditions of the roof, such as sun exposure and moisture levels, and choose species that are well-suited to these conditions. A professional landscaper or horticulturist can help you select the best plants for your living roof based on your specific needs and preferences.

Why are living roofs great for the environment?

Living roofs, also known as green roofs, are great for the environment for several reasons:

Reducing urban heat islands: Living roofs can help reduce the urban heat island effect, which is when urban areas are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the absorption and retention of heat by buildings and pavement. The plants on a living roof absorb and reflect heat, reducing the temperature of the roof and the surrounding environment.

Reducing stormwater runoff: Living roofs can absorb and filter rainwater, reducing stormwater runoff and the associated pollution that can enter waterways. This can help improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.

Improving air quality: Plants on a living roof can help improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants and producing oxygen.

Providing habitat: Living roofs can provide habitat for birds, insects, and other wildlife in urban areas, which can help support biodiversity.

Reducing energy use: Living roofs can help reduce energy use in buildings by providing insulation, reducing the need for heating and cooling.

Overall, living roofs can provide numerous environmental benefits and help create more sustainable and resilient urban environments. They are a great way to incorporate nature into the built environment and promote a healthier and more vibrant cityscape.

Whats the lifespan of a living roof?

The lifespan of a living roof, also known as a green roof, can vary depending on several factors, including the type of roof, the design and construction of the roof, and the maintenance practices used. A well-designed and properly maintained living roof can last for several decades or longer.

One of the most important factors affecting the lifespan of a living roof is the waterproofing system used to protect the underlying structure from water damage. A high-quality and durable waterproofing system is essential to prevent leaks and ensure the longevity of the roof.

The type of plants used on the living roof can also affect its lifespan. Plants that are well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions are more likely to thrive and last longer than plants that are not. It is important to choose plants that are drought-resistant, shallow-rooted, and able to tolerate the specific environmental conditions of the roof.

Regular maintenance is also crucial to ensuring the longevity of a living roof. This can include monitoring for signs of damage or leaks, removing debris and invasive plants, and providing irrigation and fertilisation as needed.

In general, a well-designed and properly maintained living roof can last for 30-50 years or more. However, the lifespan of a living roof can vary depending on the specific conditions and practices used.

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