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green roofs

by Bohl Architects last modified Nov 01, 2010 06:45 AM
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green roofs

Posted by Bohl Architects at June 08. 2005

I am interested in doing a green roof on a residential project, and am wondering if anyone has any reccommendations for green roof systems, manufacturers, or resources. Thanks.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Splatgirl at June 08. 2005 (UK site)

I'm going to do one on our house-in-progress:
I haven't decided on the specifics yet or whether I'll use self contained units or concoct another method...I want to make it a combination of deck/patio, low maintenence pretty stuff and xeriscape.

Keep us posted on what you learn.

Re: green roofs

Posted by James Bell at June 08. 2005

I working on a project in which we are installing a green roof. We are using the American Hydrotech system. Another system that I looked at was the Enka system by Colbond. The Hydrotech system has been well established and proven in the states and the Colbond system is a European system (now available in the states) and looks very nice as well.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Adam Phillips at August 09. 2005

would you mind posting details on the cost of the materials, labor, etc? and maybe a couple details about your specific project. i am working on a flat roof project, and the roof is only about 1000 square feet, so not sure if a green roof is even feasable?

Re: green roofs

Posted by James Bell at September 03. 2005

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I think the end cost will be about $20/sf for the roofing. I could be wrong on that though as its just a rough guess. It can be installed on a flat (as in 0:12) roof with out much concern. Its expensive but has some good long term benefits. I don't think size is an issue as much as cost is an issue.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Jenny Reiman at February 01. 2006

I recently visited a demonstration green roof project in St. Louis that was done by [url]Green Roof Blocks[/url]. It's a self-contained modular system of square units. We are considering it for our flat-roofed home because we know we will outgrow our house in a few years and it can easily be removed (if it scares potential buyers) and/or transferred to our next home.

Re: green roofs

Posted by John Rosenberg at April 10. 2006

this was referenced over on inhabitat:

Step by Step Green Roof

Posted by Krista Atkins Nutter at April 20. 2006
I just checked a book out of the library that includes a chapter on green roofs - complete with construction details, step-by-step-guide, and photos showing the steps. It's called, Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Building Methods by Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan, Lark Books: New York, 2005. The book is over 600 pages and devotes a section for step-by-step guide to each of the main alternative building methods - strawbale, earthplaster, cord wood, and cob. There's also sections on siting, living roofs (including plant selection) and so on. It's basically for DIY-ers. I hope this helps! Thanks.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Cara Cummins at May 04. 2006

for all the DIYs
please remember you need the structure of the roof to be
to handle the load of a 'green roof' system.
If the system cost is $20.00 sqft- that does not include the increase cost for the
structure of the roof.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Alyssa Anders at May 05. 2006

Thank you Knutter, I will be checking with my library tomorrow to see if they have this book available.

Alyssa Anders
[url=]Modular Homes[/url] information, Resources and more at Modular Today.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Frank Jones at June 09. 2006

an extensive system adds 18 lb./sf load

Re: green roofs

Posted by Steven at September 01. 2006

Re: green roofs

Posted by James Bell at May 14. 2008

Our office just had a lunch seminar on green roofs by a newer company called live roof.


Its another modular system with a few differences.


It comes fully grown (i.e. no waiting 5 years for the plants to grow, but it adds a long lead time)

Easy to install and comes in 1'-0" x 2'-0" modules.  Only requires a additional membrane over the waterproofing system.  No filter fabric, root stop, and all of the other requirements of some of the other systems.

Around 15lbs/sf for the extensive 4" system.  They also have offer a  2" system that is about 7lbs/sf.


No I am not a rep, I was just very impressed with the system.  I wish that I had known about the system when we did our last green roof.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Jennifer Smith at December 26. 2008

Hi James-

Happy to hear you were so impressed with LiveRoof.  I just want to make sure you are being given correct information from our representatives.  Our 4" LiveRoof Standard system weighs 27-29 lbs/sf, and our 2" LiveRoof Lite system weighs 15-17 lbs/sf.  These weights are when the modules are fully saturated and fully vegetated.  If other systems specify lower weights I suggest checking to make sure they are using a high quality rooftop soil, which won't decompose and compact over time.  Also make sure they are specifying a fully saturated weight.  Could you email me to let me know where you are located and who gave the presentation to you, I want to make sure we aren't giving out incorrect information.  Thank you!


Re: green roofs

Posted by Sweets Network at October 15. 2009
Here's an interesting post about managing the UHI effect and green roofing materials

.  Any thoughts?  Better ideas?



Boosting Quality of Life, Not Temps

Re: green roofs

Posted by nodjr at January 29. 2010

This depends on a number of factors. In most of the United States, you will want a roof with a steep pitch to allow the water to run off quickly. The roof should have a good system for allowing ventilation in the attic. I think a passive ventilation system is better than a mechanical, because when mechanical systems break down, homeowners rarely repair them. Radiant barriers have not been studied enough to make a proper determination of how they effect several parts of the roof system, but I feel that the barriers on the back of the sheathing or the foil sheets is good to install (the paint on system is not good for high humidity areas). As for the roof covering, a lighter colored material is the best for reflecting ultraviolet light. Some metal shingle manufacturers have made claims that their product has done well at improving this factor. By reflecting ultraviolet light, you reduce the heat in the attic.

Re: green roofs

Posted by Brian clarke at November 01. 2010

Money considerations aside, what do you think is better?  To have a a green roof Or a roof covered in solar panels?

A green roof will reduce your home energy consumption by adding insulation and the vegetation will absorb some CO2.  It also reduces the urban heat island effect, and eases strain on stormwater systems by absorbing rain water.  On the other hand, solar panels can provide a home with a significant amount of carbon-free energy.  I'll have to crunch some numbers to see which provides the greater benefit, but I think it's a fascinating question.


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