DIY: Create a green roof yourself (instructions)

Instructions how to make a green roof

turf on a roof

A green roof is a good solution against pollution with dust and CO2. In addition, it is a thermal and acoustic insulation, it regulates rainwater, extends the life of the roofs and it is super beautiful.

Plants retain some of the dust

terrace garden

If you have decided to embark on the adventure of making a green roof yourself, you must know that you will need some specific materials.

Vegetation extends the life of roofs

green roof

It must also be taken into account that the green roof can not be placed on any surface. It must be concrete, wood or steel. If you do not have a slope, it will be necessary to think of the flow of water and to create one.

Apparently we can make a green roof even if it is inclined

drainage of a green roof

The budget

When you calculate the budget for your project, it will be good to plan additional expenses. Sometimes building the green roof is more complex and requires more investment.

Green roofs are alternatives to conventional roofs

garden on a roof

We must also add the costs of architectural transformation, drainage if necessary, and planting of course. Before starting construction, it is mandatory to consult the National Building Code to ensure that the regulations are not restrictive regarding your building type.

Of course it's in town that the impact of green roofs is greater than in villages

green roofs village

Last thing to note: if there is the slightest possibility that your project is complicated to achieve, it is better that you address the professionals.

All roofs can be vegetated, provided that the slope of the roof is not more than 35 degrees maximum

this public building has its roof garden

Create a green roof yourself

1. The frame and the tightness

In order to retain the substrate (potting soil), you must create a frame around the roof. Its height depends on the thickness of soil which, in turn, depends on the type of plants that one wishes to plant.

Integration of plants and living plants in the urban environment

for example it is a green roof

The frame can be wood or metal for example. If the roof is too steep, you can add intermediate sleepers to better hold the earth.

These roofs of significant weight require strong frames

actually it's a modern roof with vegetation

The roof waterproofing is then reinforced. For this we can use a pool cover (type EPDM) that goes up along the frame. It reinforces the waterproofness of an impermeable roof to avoid any problem later.

For the implementation on the roof, the installation of a membrane ensures the tightness

green roofs on a building

2.The drainage

You will need to add a drainage system to avoid stagnant water that would overload the whole and rot plants.

Some plants require a watering system in dry and hot periods

green roof with a slope

You can use a molded polystyrene plate or pozzolana (or expanded clay granules, pebbles, gravel and often honeycomb and ribbed plates). The pozzolan must be covered with a geotextile so that it does not mix with the earth.

The price for dense roofs is on average 4 to 5 times more expensive than for a normal roof

green roof with flowers

In polystyrene you have to drill a few holes at the drainage level in the lower part of the frame so that the water escapes into the gutters.

Green roof requires easy access for maintenance

an example of a green roof

3.The substrate and the choice of plants

The substrate is a mixture of earth and gravel. The chippings can be replaced by vermiculite, perlite or pozzolan which are lighter. The thickness of the substrate is chosen according to the plants.

The green roofs are a real wealth because the mini ecosystem that is created promotes biodiversity

garden on the roof of a building

For plants, opt for species that are more resistant to heat, drought and frost.

No doubt the green roof is ecological

vegetable garden on the roof of a building

4.The implementation of seedlings and plants

The implementation of seedlings and plants can be carried out according to 4 modes:

  • By sowing: time of plant installation from 3 months to one year. If you opt for sowing it must be taken into account that it does not guarantee the success of your green roof.
  • In plantations: plant installation time from 3 to 6 months
  • In pre-cultivated rolls: immediate plant installation time (only for extensive roofing). Pre-cultivated rolls provide an immediate result, but there is still a risk of failure due to extreme climatic factors.
  • In pre-cultivated boxes: immediate plant installation time

Contemporary roofs

The construction of green roofs characterizes the architecture of many regions

DIY: Create a green roof yourself (instructions)

The roofs of buildings or houses are not always pretty. In these cases we can cover them with the greenery which will undoubtedly bring them aesthetics.

Green roofs are mainly found in Switzerland, North America, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and Japan

green roof

There are more and more gardens at the top of buildings. Although small buildings do not necessarily require experience and technical skills, for larger ones it is better that you confide in professionals, especially for security reasons.

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