As cities become more built up with high-rise buildings and bigger developments, natural spaces become scarcer. Instead of restricting the development of necessary commercial and residential spaces, we can optimise the roofs on buildings as opportunities to create sustainable ecological environments whilst delivering the benefits of what a sustainable Green Roof has to offer.

A Green Roof system can be broken down to layers that make up the perfect environment for supporting nature, offering protection and insulation with ongoing maintenance for durability.

1. Drainage Layers

Drainage layers have the vital job of filtering water in a manner that means plant growth isn’t uncontrollable yet the vegetation has consistent access to water. A well designed and installed drainage layer will slowly drain the water away from the substrate, reducing the risk of too much weight and stagnant water.

We have designed a range of our own drainage layers to complement the roof build-up and to function effectively by draining excess water from the roof. Some of the larger drainage layers will also hold a reserve of water in specially-designed cups so that plants have access to moisture in drier periods. When needed, the roots will draw the water up using evapotranspiration.

2. Filter Layers

Filter layers are very important in a Green Roof system. They hold the nutrients and fines within the system and stop them from being washed away by the rain. The filter layer is made from a strong yet flexible polymer that is robust enough to protect against the elements yet can be moulded to fit into any design of Green Roof.

3. Substrate

Substrate (the growing media) is an integral component of a Green Roof. Eco Green Roofs substrate has been carefully designed for each planting type. Fundamentally it must contain low levels of nutrients to keep the plants easy-to-maintain, hold a certain level of water yet be free-draining to prevent root rotting, and have a granular texture to keep the plant roots well aerated (vital for plant health). Substrate design is a science, and a lack of knowledge on this matter would be detrimental to any Green Roof system. A good substrate supports the whole Green Roof system and sustains the vegetation layer.

Eco Green Roofs has developed a substrate with the perfect balance to allow for natural landscapes without the added cost of extra maintenance.

4. Vegetation Layer

The vegetation layer of the green roof provides nature and life with a home best suited to its needs.

Green Roofs can have a variety of planting options; the system below is designed in accordance with this to ensure successful coverage is achieved. We supply many different vegetation layers ranging from fully established blankets (wildflowers or grasses) that roll out like turf, to plug plants, seeds, and cuttings.

Each type of Green Roof can provide nature with different possibilities, depending on the conditions. Roll-out turf and plug plants can provide a neater landscape, while wildflowers and grasses can be planted as seeds and allowed to grow as naturally as possible for a relaxed, unkempt look.

The location and environment of the roof are paramount in considering the type of materials selected, taking sunlight, wind, regional considerations (such as coastal environments) and natural flora into account. At EGR, we go to great lengths to consider all these factors in order to ensure a suitable Green Roof solution is developed.

Replicating the habitats for flora and fauna, Green Roofs increase biodiversity in bustling environments. We’re helping businesses meet Biodiversity Net Gain Guidelines.

Biodiverse green roofs – or brown roofs – can be designed to provide native vegetation types or an alternative bespoke habitat for a particular species of wildlife. For this reason, biodiverse roofs often support a wider variety of plant types and may feature different natural encouragements for habitat development, such as partial tree stumps or logs. These green roofs often have deeper soils than other roof types and could include an irrigation system, although this is not always necessary.

Furthermore, this type of green roof can provide housing developers with a solution to planning constraints, as environmentally friendly features such as a green roof rank highly on local authority plans. The opportunity for designers to create spaces that have positive effects on our surroundings are endless, and we welcome discussions with designers to create bespoke rooftop environments.

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