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A green roof is not only beautiful to look at, it also extends the life of a roof, keeps the living space cool in summer, saves heating costs in winter and provides a habitat for many plants and animals.
For a green roof smaller as well as larger roofs are suitable, this can be the roof of a residential building, but also the roofs of carports, garages and other smaller buildings in question. Even in commercial real estate, green roofs are being created more and more frequently.
So you can green your roof
Flat roofs or roofs with a maximum inclination of 15 degrees are most suitable for green roofs because they do not require any major measures to prevent the soil and plants from slipping off. But even with steeper roofs a greening is possible, but then a special backup is required.
Several plastic sheets are applied to the roof to prevent water and plant roots from penetrating the roof. A substrate is then distributed on the uppermost film, which serves as a water and nutrient storage for the plants and at the same time ensures that excess water can drain off. The substrate consists of topsoil that has been mixed with lava, pumice, expanded clay or similar materials. After that can be planted or sown.
The green roofs
There are three different types of green roofs. In extensive greening only low mosses, herbs or grasses are planted on the roof. It is very easy to care for, because the plants need to be watered only at the beginning, later they will take care of themselves. The simple intensive greening is already a bit more elaborate. Here, the roof is designed in addition to grasses and herbs with smaller woody plants, which also occasionally supplied with water and must be maintained.
The intensive greenery is a real roof garden, sown on the lawn and even trees and shrubs are planted, so that the roof can be used as a traditional garden. Depending on the selected plants, the costs for a green roof therefore vary considerably and the weight that weighs on the roof varies in size depending on the planting. Extensive greening of a larger area is available from about 25 euros per square meter, the intensive greening is about twice as expensive, in which case the costs are mainly based on the prices of the plants.
The state promotion of green roofs
For ecological reasons, green roofs are already financially supported in many places. However, the regulations are different in the communities, so here only helps the demand for their own place of residence. Also, the precipitation fees, which already have to be paid in many cities, are often reduced when planting a green roof. In addition, however, the longer life of the roof in the financial considerations should be included, because an early renovation or renewal of the roof costs much more than a green roof. Above all, a green roof is an optical eye-catcher, which can be used as a garden and thus represents an additional habitat for people, plants and animals. And not to forget is the contribution to climate protection.
When you build houses, nature always gets lost too. With a green roof, it is possible to win back a piece of nature. Therefore, it is important to find design tips for the green roof and to heed. Skilfully implemented, a green roof (see also intensive and extensive green roofs) offers a lot of advantages. Among the environmental benefits are mainly air cooling and oxygen production, regulation of humidity, dust retention and rainwater storage.
When designing grids, it is important to make sure that this is accompanied by a load on the roof, which must already be considered when building the house. So it is especially important to consider this in the statics. If you want to convert your roof into a green roof later, you should be aware of the costs in advance. These can then shoot into astronomical heights, which is why such a project can hardly be economical.
Depending on the altitude, the greening of the roof can be done with trees and shrubs. This may look similar to what you would expect from gardens and parks. However, it is also possible to create paths on a roof. These should then be designed with wooden grates, slabs or paving. In addition, you can arrange seating on a green roof, so it can also be used as a terrace or lounge. Especially with these sitting areas, however, it must be remembered that security measures must also be taken.So it is necessary to attach fall protection and also to take into account that these garden furniture are protected from the sometimes strong winds. Flying this furniture from the roof can lead to serious accidents. Larger plants must also be anchored in the substrate, so that they gain enormous stability.
If you prefer a delicate planting, you should consider that then an additional irrigation system is necessary. Even lawns, which otherwise seem quite easy to care for, belong to the intensive greening, as they make special demands on the irrigation.
Those who prefer extensive greening should choose plants that can cope with changing temperatures and can also live with the fact that their substrate almost completely dries up at times. In addition, these plants should have a high regenerative capacity. The costs of such a greening are relatively manageable.
Green roofs can also create habitats for insects and other animals. These can develop undisturbed, as the flora on the roofs can grow almost unhindered throughout the year. The planting of green roofs can be done in different ways. So it is on the one hand possible to apply flat bales, small plants to set or seed and sow seeds. It is also possible to apply vegetation mats. In this way, the plants develop quite quickly. When creating a green roof, however, make sure that you do not provide these plants with too many nutrients available, because these roots are too shallow and therefore can not develop a proper grip. It is often the case that the crowns of the plants then develop too much. This in turn makes them very top-heavy and thus susceptible to storm damage. So, when the wind blows a bit more, it is very possible for the crown to break. This not only severely damages the plant, it also risks causing these crowns to damage other plants or fall to underlying balconies or roads.