In the most developed countries there is a growing tendency for installing green roofs. Considering the decreasing amount of green spaces, engineers tend to introduce them wherever possible. France has recently introduced a law that prescribes all newly built objects around commercial zones to be partially covered in plants or solar panels. In 2009 a new bylaw introduced in Toronto, obliged all new residential and industrial objects to have green roofs.
Green roofs are a rapidly growing trend in our country too, not only in individual projects, but also as intensive and extensive façade greening, intended to enhance the quality of living in cities.
Our company, which has been specialized in landscape architecture and design for 20 years, has been receiving many inquiries about green roof design. It represents a new challenge in the field of design and construction, having in mind the complexity of growing vegetation on the artificial roof base.
The greatest challenges of green roofs
While designing a green roof, all the preconditions should be taken into consideration, including the construction of the object, its use, position regarding the weather conditions, security. The difference between surface temperature and air temperature is huge, the winds are stronger, exposure to light is greater, rain showers are more intense. Considering the mentioned facts, the crucial questions that follow a green roof design, preceding the esthetic ones, are those concerning the structural integrity of the roof- its construction must remain waterproof, stable, lasting, and damage resistant. The correct choice of the outdoor furniture, building materials and plants reduces the weight of roof elements to an optimal level, so that it does not threaten its integrity.
Once the conditions and requirements are known, one can start designing and constructing a green roof. There is a wide choice of conceptual solutions, and we have to be flexible enough to allow a custom tailored solution that exactly fits the clients’ taste and needs. The installation of every element or plant is carefully considered, according to their specific position on the object.
Who are our most frequent clients, when it comes to green roof design: private entities, companies or city institutions?
The question of greening is not only a matter of esthetics or keeping in touch with the nature, but also improving the eco and climate conditions within the created eco-systems. So far, we have received inquiries mostly from private entities, who wanted to enhance their living space by making it greener and surrounding themselves with nature. However, companies and institutions are also becoming increasingly aware of the need for improving the eco and climate conditions with greenery. World famous cities have been looking for ways of making balance between the following extremes: industrial building and the need for public green space. Therefore, modern projects often include green roof and terrace designs.
Are all types of plants suitable for green roofs?
Plants recommended for green roofs are low growing species, small shrubs and ornamental grasses, climbers, small trees and small grafted plants. Lightweight mineral-rich substrates will improve the plants’ growth. Tree anchors hold higher transplants in place in windy areas. Such selection of plants will enable a pleasant view, both during daytime and night, and also reduce the amount of noise coming from the street.
With the help of turf and potted plants, balconies and flat roofs can form interesting spaces, green oases. Roof gardens can include a number of elements used in classic gardens, such as geometric, landscape or mixed style, with significant difference in their design and structure.
If you wish to transform your roof or terrace into a green oasis, Grass Garden Company, specialized in carrying out landscape architecture projects, will provide full support and service, from conceptual design to installation and performance.