Several fact sheets for green roofs provide overview information and information on design, construction and maintenance, and volume and pollutant removal.
Green roofs consist of a series of layers that create an environment suitable for plant growth without damaging the underlying roof system. Green roofs create green space for public benefit, energy efficiency, and stormwater retention/ detention.
Structural load capacity, how much weight the roof can hold, is a major factor in determining whether the green roof is “extensive” or “intensive”. Vegetation selection is based on numerous factors including, growth medium depth, microclimate, irrigation availability and maintenance.
A leak detection system is recommended to quickly detect and locate leaks. Modular products can increase installation and repair efficiency.
See Unified sizing criteria for explanation of these terms.
NA Toxins - Hydrocarbons, Pesticides
Note: Pollution removal percentages apply to volume of runoff treated, and not to volume by-passed
There are two systems of green roofs, extensive and intensive, composed of the same system of layers. Extensive systems are lighter, typically have 4 inches or less of growing medium, use drought tolerant vegetation, and can structurally support limited uses (such as maintenance personnel). Intensive systems are heavier, have a greater soil depth, can support a wider range of plants, and can support increased pedestrian traffic.
Rainfall is initially intercepted by vegetation, held on foliage, or soaked up by plant roots. Any remaining runoff filters through the growing medium and is drained away from the roof’s surface by the drainage layer. Some drainage systems use small depressions to store excess water for uptake during drier conditions (RCWD), while others provide an overflow for larger rainfall events.