Green roof ideas are difficult to explain and give a strict definition. Green roofs can be both an eco-fantasy and eco-solution but nowadays they are a part of urban landscaping and follow specific rules of design so that a gray and not very pleasing roof becomes an enchanting dream garden. Many buildings have fascinating roof gardens and can fight for a top place for best ideas. Landscaping a roof is developing and we see are constantly surprised by creative and original ideas.
Green roof ideas – rooftop gardens with many benefits
Green roof ideas proved a successful and very appropriate idea for many public buildings due to the environmental and financial benefits – energy efficiency, storm and water safety, soundproofing, etc. They could be the home of birds and other small, harmless creatures that dwell on the green roofs. These projects tremendously improve the environmental consciousness of society, they add to the beauty of the building and id we accept that the roof is the fifth facade, just think of the appearance of this facade! The design freedom and opportunities are practically unlimited and that is why we see fantastic ideas on a growing number of roofs impressive and inspiring examples of innovation, creativity, open mind and desire to experiment.
The green roof is a great way to extend the useful area and the idea works not only for public buildings but for private homes as well. In this way the house, garage or barn becomes an accent in the exterior design and adds to the originality of the landscape. Further to that, it is a beautiful and scenic way to bring nature closer to modern man.
When you plan a green roof on your house you should hire a landscape architect or designer. You need someone who specializes in the field, someone who knows the construction requirements and regulations, assembly systems, drainage rules, local conditions, plant species and maintenance well. Every green roof is a multi-layer construction made of a variety of materials. The cost is about two to four times higher than that for the construction of a conventional roof. Before starting a construction project, you need to calculate your finances so that the project fits into your budget.
In addition to the aesthetic appearance, green roofs help in the fight with harmful gas pollution. We all know that green plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Occupants of upper floors in apartment and public buildings feel the effect of reduced heat during summer and warmer apartments during winter.
Green roofs compensate to a large extent for the destroyed plants during construction of buildings. The plants provide additional balance with the process of photosynthesis. According to statistics, a 150 square meters of green roof planted with grass produces oxygen for 100 people.
The fact that green roofs have soundproofing properties is especially important for people living in buildings near airports, industrial area or near other sources of increased noise. The plants on the roof effectively protect the roof from solar radiation, severe weather conditions and temperature changes.
Green roof ideas – planning the construction and design
Green roofs are divided into two main groups by the type of plants – intensive and extensive. The extensive green roof is recognized as it features a layer of grass uniformly distributed on a thin layer of soil with 5 to 15 centimeters thickness, while all other plants are placed in separate containers. The roof needs watering only during the period of the growth and requires a regular maintenance like cleaning weeds and mowing grass. The low cost and ease of maintenance are great advantages of this type of green roof.
Intensive roof gardening is characterized with a thick layer of soil and you could grow not only grass but also shrubs, and even certain types of trees. This is a complex system which requires special watering and care. The depth of the soil layer can be up to 60 centimeters and the planning and design involve careful calculation and expertise. These roofs usually include several layers – the first layer is made of reinforced concrete slab or plywood deck to provide stability of construction. Then we have different layers providing insulation, waterproofing, drainage, etc. Such constructions are much more complex and expensive and in addition require much more maintenance.
As you can see, green roof ideas give not only aesthetic pleasure and pride the owners, but may have a different cost. The investment pays off over time and the beauty of the unusual landscape solutions will stay with you for long time to enjoy it!
How to choose the right plants for the green roof?
The choice of plants for green roofs will of course depend on the local conditions. Not all flowers, shrubs and trees are ready to adapt to new conditions of survival. Choosing the seedlings will be guided by the following criteria – a small root system; great drought and frost resistance, ability to resist wind attacks, total simplicity. Irrigation needs are greater in southern regions. Low growing species like grass, creepers dwarf shrubs and trees are a good choice as well as succulents, herbs and moss. To add color you can plant carnations, violets, yarrow, daffodils, ornamental flowering plants like campanula, etc.
If you haven’t got much experience at gardening, it will be good if you find out in advance how much water is required for the watering of the plants that you wish to grow, especially during the growing season and the important thing is whether your structure can withstand the weight. If you feel uncertain start with something small as you can always upgrade your roof garden and in a few years have a magnificent place to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the beauty around you!