5 green roof myths - busted

More and more people across the country are embracing green roofs. This is great for the environment, as well as the aesthetic of urban spaces; but with the uptake in popularity, certain myths have emerged that we’d like to debunk. Here are five green roof myths, busted:

1. Green roofs are a modern fad

Many people perceive green roofs to be a contemporary development in the early stages - too experimental to be effective shelter. However, living roofs have been used across Europe from as early as the 1940s.

2. Green roofs are for green buildings only

While it is true that green buildings often benefit from a green roof, there is no reason why a traditional Victorian terrace can’t either. Every building is enhanced by an expanded garden space, plus the enriching aesthetic it provides.

3. Green roofs look great, but they are not structurally sound and can leak

As far as living roof myths go, this is the oldest one in the book – it’s also the furthest from the truth. Roofs leak irrespective of whether they’re traditional or green; it's the quality of the installation that’s the deciding factor. Additionally, all roofs, living or otherwise, need an effective roofing membrane to be water-tight.

4. Irrigating green roofs is an expensive nightmare

Often, there is the misconception that green roofs must be planted with sedum in order to ensure irrigation. In truth, all green roofs initially require irrigation while plant roots establish their position. Once this has occurred, they do not require prohibitively expensive maintenance. However, if you opt for a pre-grown mat, you will not have to take these additional measures in the beginning.

5. If you throw some soil on your roof, you will make your own living roof free of charge

This definitely won't work – what’s more likely is that you’ll end up without a roof at all. A decent living roof has components far more complex than just nutritious potting soil. In some cases, green roofs don’t even have soil at all but employ perlite or alternative lightweight, porous components.

Furthermore, the integral structure of your property needs to be properly assesses to work out whether it is strong enough to handle the mass of a green roof, particularly in rainy conditions. You will also have to think about the climate of where you live. In some cases, commission drainage systems need to be designed.

Planning a green roof? This design guide will help you to avoid mistakes

Download this FREE green roof design guide from Enviromat to learn more about creating a successful, sustainable living green roof.

Download free guide

 

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