Want to Build a Green Roof? Read this.

We answered people's frequently asked questions about building a green roof. Read and find out if it suits your house and how to get one installed.
Want to Build a Green Roof? Read this.

It is easier to build homes with green roofs in the past few years. Many people understand the benefits of growing a garden above their homes now. There are a lot of products in the market, which makes construction a breeze as well.

Continue reading this introductory guide to finding out whether a green roof suits your home.

What's in it for you?

A lot of homeowners want to build a green roof because it helps reduce the costs of running a house. A green roof, when designed and developed correctly, is an effective insulator. The green roof reflects most of the direct sunlight rather than absorbing it. The moisture present in the plant evaporates, which provides additional cooling. All this keeps the building temperature lower and reduces temperature fluctuations during the summer months. 

In the winter, a green roof with a thick substrate layer contributes to heat regulation, which cuts your heating bills in the winter. The multiple layers of substrate, plants, and air in the green roof system also provide excellent sound insulation. The substrate blocks lower sound frequencies, while the plants absorb the higher frequencies.  You won't hear aircraft noise, traffic, even the sound of heavy rainfall and hail storm. It makes more your home more peaceful and quiet. A green roof enhances a house's kerb appeal too. Flowering plants and lush green vegetation make any home more aesthetically pleasing. It may potentially increase the value of the property. Moreover, green roof construction offers substantial scale benefits such as improvement of the city's air quality, reduction of the heat island effect, retention, and reduction of stormwater runoff into bodies of water. It keeps nature present within urban environments, which is beneficial to us city dwellers. 

Think of the possibilities. When every single structure in the city has a green roof, then we have a better place to live in.

Would a green roof suit your house? 

To ensure, we highly recommend engaging a professional with knowledge in green roof construction before beginning any work. They can help you retrofit a green roof to an existing home. They can help you integrate it into your new home's design. Above all, they can assess whether a green roof is suitable for your home (or not). During the planning stage, you, your designer, and engineer will take the following factors into consideration: 

  1. The size of the green roof
  2. The kind roof (flat or sloped)
  3. The amount of substrate needed
  4. The structure underneath the roof
  5. The efficient drainage 
  6. Maintenance

When all is well, and you've decided to build a green roof, they will proceed to the next stage of the planning phase. 

Do you want to walk on green roofs?

If you want to, you should build intensive green roofs. It requires more substrate and stronger structure underneath to carry heavier weight. It might cost more money. 

If you don't plan to, you should build extensive green roofs. It's lighter because it requires less substrate. It is a more economical option.

The professionals you need

You can engage in green roof specialists. Better if you will work with an architect who has knowledge and experience in designing sustainable structures with green roofs.

Apart from an architect, you will also need to engage an engineer who will determine your roof's capacity for live load, dead load, and transient load. 

You will also need the help of a horticulturist when choosing plant species for your garden.

Using modular systems for your green roof

To speed up the construction, you can purchase ready-made and modular green roof systems. These are cheaper and entirely DIY friendly — easy to install, maintain, and remove when necessary. However, these place limits on the design and load-bearing capacity of the green roof.

Choosing the plants to grow 

Your architect should make sure that the green roof's design suits the site. Your horticulturist, on the other hand, should make sure that the plants which will grow in your green roof are site-specific. They need to ensure that the species of plants growing in the green roof can survive. They need to consider factors like aesthetics, wind, duration and amount of rainfall, sun exposure, temperature every season, and other environmental fluctuations.

You can also read expert guides on building a green roof online, though it's still best to consult the professionals mentioned beforehand.

What makes up a green roof?

A green roof consists of multiple layers including but not limited to waterproofing, root barriers, protection mats, drainage layer, filter sheet, growing substrate, and the layer of vegetation.

Every green roof project is unique. Yours might require a different construction method or different products. It's always best to consult a professional, plan the project, and strictly follow it.


You should plan how to maintain your green roof early, ideally during the design development stage. You should establish safe access to the ceiling and the green roof. You will need this when you check for leaks, water the vegetation, and prune the plants.

Always consult professionals

Building a green roof, no matter how small or large it is, is a project that requires the input of several professionals in the building industry. Get these professionals on board, you need them. When you surround yourself with experts on this type of project, your life will be so much easier. You also avoid making costly mistakes in the future (e.g., leakage, plant health, and structural problems, to name a few).

Start by telling us about your new home project. One of our design consultants will get in touch with you shortly and will provide you with a free, non-obligation quote.

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Contact our Perth-based building designers for more info.



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