FAQ - Green Roofs

On what type of roof can a green roof be installed?

The green roof can be mounted on almost any type of roof, when providing that the load-bearing capacity is adequate for the additional weight of the system. It is essential to carry out an analysis of the existing roof structure to determine how much additional load the structure can support, and based on this the appropriate type of system can be chosen. Thanks to the high-performance drainage system, collected water can be efficiently drained even from concrete terraces with 0 slope.

Green roofs can also be installed on pitched roofs. In general, for slopes of less than 15 degrees, no special additional supports are needed.

For slopes between 15 and 50 degrees, a special anti-erosion system is used to prevent the soil from sliding. In the case of very steep slopes of 75-80 degrees, it is possible to use special mounting systems to ensure the stability of the green roof structure. When designing green roofs, the specifics of each project and the unique requirements of the respective building must always be taken into account.

Can a green roof be installed on renovated buildings?

Yes, green roofs can be installed on both new and renovated buildings. The installation process depends on the current condition of the roof, the structure and bearing capacity of the building. It is recommended to consult us to assess the feasibility of installing a green roof in the specific context of the renovated building and to choose the right solutions for durability and optimal performance.

What types of green roofs are there?

There are several types of green roofs, and the choice depends on various factors, such as the structure of the building, the local climate, the available budget and the specific objectives of the project. The main types are the following:

Extensive green roofs: Succulents such as Sedum are used, which are drought tolerant and require a thin substrate. This type of system needs minimal maintenance and is the most economical choice.

Semi-intensive green roofs: Combines the characteristics of extensive and intensive roofs, allows the growth of a wide range of plants, including perennials, lawns, larger shrubs. Requires more frequent maintenance than extensive systems, may also include an irrigation system.

Intensive green roofs: Allows for the growth of a greater variety of plants, including trees and shrubs. These roofs often require more robust support structures, as the plants require a thicker substrate, in some cases even 100-150 cm. Intensive systems need regular maintenance.

Modular roofs: They are built from prefabricated boxes with substrate and plants, it is easy to install and adjust, it is also recommended for DIY projects, it is the easiest way to get an instant compact green roof.

Biosolar roofs: Combines solar technologies with vegetation on the roof surface, with the help of the special mounting system, photovoltaic panels are installed integrated into the extensive or biodiverse green roof system.

Blue roofs: They are designed to retain and store rainwater, contributing to the sustainable management of water resources. The system is integrated into the green roof structure, the collected water can be used for irrigating plants or other non-potable purposes.

Biodiverse roofs: Promote biological diversity by using native plants and creating a favorable environment for insects and birds. They provide shelter and food for various species of small animals, helping to support healthy ecosystems, especially in urban areas.

How to choose the right type of green roof?

To choose the right type of green roof for your project, it is recommended to start by evaluating the load-bearing capacity of the roof. It must be ensured that the structure can support the additional weight of the substrate and plants. Local climatic conditions must also be taken into account to choose the appropriate plants and systems. Last but not least, the objectives of the project are taken into account, such as recreation, the promotion of biodiversity or energy efficiency, etc. Maintenance costs will be assessed to make long-term sustainable choices. Collaboration with professionals can be helpful in making decisions and initiating the project.

Who can install a green roof?

Installing a green roof requires specialized experts such as landscape architects, builders and green roof specialists. These professionals collaborate to design and install a sustainable and efficient green roof. It is important to employ qualified and experienced teams in this field to ensure a correct and long-lasting installation.

What kind of plants can be used on green roofs?

On green roofs, the range of plants used depends on several factors, including local climatic conditions, the resistance of the plants to trampling and drough, the involved costs, the need for maintenance and the objectives of the project. For extensive roofs Sedum plants are popular for their resistance to extreme conditions and low maintenance requirements. In the case of intensive roofs, perennial plants, small shrubs and even trees can be used. Factors such as sun exposure, average temperature, rainfall and humidity levels must be considered to ensure the right choice of plants and to achieve the aesthetic and functional goals of the project.

Why are Sedum plants used in the case of extensive roofs?

Sedum plants are chosen for extensive roofs due to their resistance and ability to self-regenerate. Climatic conditions on green roofs are often unfavorable, and these succulent plants can store water in their leaves, they are very resistant to drought. They are also resistant to moderate, occasional ironing. On the other hand, Sedum has low maintenance needs and offers a varied range of colors and textures through flowers and foliage, contributing to the creation of a pleasant and diversified aesthetic appearance on green roofs. Thanks to plants, extensive systems are a sustainable and affordable option that requires minimal effort to maintain appearance and performance over time.

What is a vegetal carpet?

A vegetal carpet is a pre-cultivated blanket of living plants, grown to maturity. Sedum, biograss and biodiverse carpets are used for green roofs. Vegetal rolls are developed to cover and improve the aesthetics and functionality of green roofs. Installed on roofs, they offer a complete and ready-to-use solution for creating a sustainable and easy-to-maintain green space.

Why choose vegetal carpet instead of seeding or planting?

Choosing a plant carpet offers several advantages, because thanks to the mats with mature plants a green result can be obtained immediately after installation, the carpets offer a maximum degree of coverage.

Plant carpets are an efficient and practical solution, they provide instant advantages, contributing to the creation of a sustainable and aesthetic green roof. Choosing a plant mat has multiple benefits over seeding or planting, as rolls of well-developed plants provide a ready-to-use option, ensure quick installation and provide an immediate uniform appearance. The main advantages are resistance to trampling, better erosion and weed control, in addition, due to mature plants, it requires less initial maintenance.

What are the costs of a green roof?

The costs of a green roof vary depending on several factors. These factors include the size of the project, the type of green roof chosen, the specifications of the plants used, local conditions and the complexity of the installation. It is important to consider the initial costs as well as those related to long-term maintenance. Extensive green roofs, being more simple structures, can be more affordable from a financial point of view. On the other hand, intensive roofs, which allow larger plants to grow, may involve higher costs due to the need for more robust support structures and a more complex drainage/irrigation system.

What is the lifespan of green roofs?

The lifespan of green roofs varies depending on several factors, including the type of green roof, quality of installation, local climate conditions and the level of maintenance provided. In general, green roofs can have a significant lifespan and in some cases can exceed 50 years or more. A key factor in ensuring an extended lifespan is implementing a regular maintenance program, including proper monitoring and management of vegetation, drainage systems and other essential green roof elements.

How much is the load on green roofs?

The weight of green roofs can vary significantly depending on the type of green roof, the plants used and the thickness and type of substrate.

The weight of extended roofs is generally lower, around 100-260 kg/m2, because they use a thinner substrate of 100-200 mm. In the case of buildings with lower bearing capacity, ultra-light systems can be installed, with a 4 cm substrate and a structural weight of 60-70 kg/m2.

The weight of semi-intensive roofs can vary between 200 and 300 kg/m2, with a substrate of 150-200 mm, and intensive systems can weigh significantly more, between 300-1000 g/m2, or even more, depending on the type of plants, the weight of trees and shrubs, the thickness of the substrate and other additional landscape elements. The thickness of the substrate is greater than 200 mm, it can even reach 1000-1500 mm. Integrated systems, such as blue roof or biosolar systems, bring an additional load, and this weight varies according to the specific type of system implemented. It is essential to account for this additional weight in the green roof design process.

Do green roofs damage the building structure and roof waterproofing?

No, green roofs, when implemented correctly, should not damage the building structure or the waterproofing. On the contrary, it protects the waterproofing layer from temperature fluctuations, both in winter and in summer, when the temperature variation can reach up to 80-90°C. Protects and triples the lifespan of waterproofing membranes, protecting them from UV rays. Adhering to proper design practices, including evaluating the existing structure and installing proper waterproofing, is crucial to ensure building integrity.

How to drain the water collected on the roof?

Drainage of water from green roofs is achieved by means of specialized drainage systems such as drainage boards and channels. These systems are integrated into the roof design to direct water efficiently. By means of the drain boards, water is collected and directed to drainage points, preventing accumulation and thus protecting the structure of the building. The drainage board also has water retention capacity, a significant part is retained in the special compartments, and the surplus water is evacuated. The water retained later can be used by the vegetation, it provides suitable living conditions for the plants, which contributes to the cooling of the building through evapotranspiration.

Do green roofs need irrigation systems?

Extensive roofs have the advantage that they do not necessarily require an irrigation system. These are populated with drought-resistant plants, such as Sedum, which can survive with reduced amounts of water. However, in dry periods or regions with low rainfall, an irrigation system can be useful to maintain the health of the plants and the aesthetic appearance of the green roof. Semi-intensive and intensive roofs often require irrigation systems to ensure adequate hydration of the plants, especially in conditions where the amounts of meteorological waters may be insufficient. In general, the need for irrigation may vary depending on the specific type of plants used and local climatic characteristics.

Can green roofs be combined with landscaping elements such as patios, paved surfaces, paths, planters etc.?

Yes, green roofs can be integrated with a variety of landscaping elements, especially in the case of intensive green roofs, when the structural capacity of the building allows additional elements to be added above the roof. By using versatile systems with adapted structures, complex projects can be realized, similar to green spaces or parks at ground level. This combination provides aesthetic and functional benefits, turning the green roof into a multifunctional space. Integrating landscaping elements can provide a pleasant green space for relaxation, socializing or recreational activities.

What frequency of maintenance do green roofs require?

Maintenance activities vary depending on the type of green roof and the local climate. In general, green roofs need minimal maintenance, 2-3 times a year, and intensive roofs are the most demanding, they need frequent maintenance, like regular green areas, located at ground level. Green roofs require proper maintenance, which may include watering, fertilizing, mowing the lawn and grooming plants, and checking the drainage system. It is also essential to monitor the drainage and check the waterproofing periodically. Maintaining a well-established maintenance plan is crucial to the long-term durability and functionality of your green roof.

Who needs to maintain the green roof?

This task is usually the responsibility of the building`s owner, manager, often assigned to a team specializing in landscaping and green roofs. It is important to ensure that the green roof is properly maintained, which can help keep the health and aesthetic appearance of the green roof in the long term. It is recommended that you establish a clear maintenance plan and carry out regular checks to ensure that the green roof remains in optimal condition.

Can the green roof be stepped on?

Yes, in general most green roofs are walkable, but there are some important aspects to consider. Extensive roofs, which use trampling-resistant plants such as Sedum, are usually designed to allow sporadic and light human access. They can withstand the occasional passage of people for maintenance or light recreational activities. On the other hand, intensive roofs, which allow the growth of larger plants, including trees and shrubs, are designed for regular access and can withstand heavier traffic.

Can green roofs contribute to environmental certifications?

Yes, green roofs can significantly contribute to obtaining environmental certifications such as LEED or BREEAM. They bring benefits in energy efficiency, rainwater management, biodiversity, air quality and combating the Urban Heat Island Effect, aligning with the sustainability criteria of environmental certifications.

By providing a thermal insulation effect, contributing to energy efficiency and stormwater management, green systems support the goals of NZEB near-zero energy buildings and align with the principles of sustainability in construction. Biosolar green roofs can contribute ecologically to the energy needs of NZEB buildings as well.

FAQ - Green Walls and Facades

What is the difference between green walls and green facades?

Green walls, also called living walls or vertical gardens, consist of modular panels attached or integrated directly into the wall of buildings, and plants are planted in a special substrate, often with a dedicated irrigation system. This type of landscaping provides maximum coverage at the time of installation. Green facades, on the other hand, use climbing plants planted next to the wall, in natural soil or in special containers with substrate, the plants may be directly attached to the walls or may have special support systems such as trellises or other structures that allow the plants to climbs the wall. This approach is more economical compared to the panel system, but to achieve a significant green cover, it is necessary to wait several years until the plants reach an adequate development.

Can green walls and facades be installed on any building?

Installing green walls and facades is possible on most buildings, but it is important to consider several factors. Viability depends on the structure of the building, its bearing capacity, orientation, access to light and the possibility of maintenance. Consultation with specialists is essential to assess feasibility and plan an efficient and sustainable installation.

Can green walls and facades be installed on renovated buildings?

Yes, green walls and facades can be successfully installed on renovated buildings. The installation process may vary depending on the current condition of the building, but there are solutions tailored for existing renovations.

What are the costs of green walls and facades?

Costs for green walls and facades vary depending on several factors, such as project size, installation height, type of system used, plants chosen and level of customization. Green facades can offer a more economical alternative compared to modular systems. The initial investment may vary, but it is important to consider the long-term benefits that can contribute to the profitability of the project, such as energy efficiency, thermal and sound insulation, improved air quality and building aesthetics.

What kind of plants can be used to install green walls and facades?

When installing green walls and facades, we focus on a careful selection of plants, taking into account the specifics of each individual project. We opt for plant species that are resistant and adaptable to the climatic conditions specific to the area. Thus, we ensure not only a pleasant aesthetic, but also a long-term sustainability of our projects, integrating plants that develop healthily and harmoniously in the respective environment.

Do climbing plants need special support?

Green facades have two types, climbing plants can be used that climb directly on the wall of the building, without special supports. But there are also structures where the climbing plants have a special support, trellis, depending on the plant species and the structure of the green facade system. The supports are designed to facilitate the healthy development of plants and to ensure the durability of the green facade and construction.

How to install green walls and facades?

Together with our partners, we help you in the entire process of installing green walls and facades, ensuring technologically advanced solutions. From detailed assessment and surface preparation to installation of the support system, irrigation system and plants, our team is committed to coordinating and overseeing every step for an efficient and sustainable implementation.

What time of the year can green walls and facades be installed?

The installation of green walls and facades can generally be carried out throughout the year, only in freezing conditions it`s not possible to transport and install the systems. The optimal time for installation is spring or fall, when moderate temperatures and humidity levels can facilitate plant adaptation and healthy growth.

Do green walls and facades require an irrigation and fertilization system?

Yes, in many cases, green walls and facades require irrigation and fertilization systems to maintain the health of the plants and support their growth, especially in the case of green walls, an irrigation system to hydrate the plants is indispensable. These systems are essential to ensure the proper supply of water and nutrients in conditions where the plants are not in direct contact with the natural soil.

In what material are the plants placed in the case of modular system?

The panels of the modular system contain specific substrates to support plant growth. The special substrate is designed to provide ideal growing conditions. It has a light structure and is effective in drainage, at the same time it retains enough water to maintain the level of humidity required by the plants. The substrate also provides essential nutrients, provides a stable base, thus facilitating healthy plant development.

How much does the modular system weigh?

Our living wall panel system generally weighs around 150kg/m2. However, this value may vary depending on the specifics of the project, the plants used and the dimensions of the panels.

Can green walls and facades damage the wall structure?

Green walls and facades are designed not to damage the wall structure. Modern systems are designed with lightweight materials and mounting solutions that minimize impact on the structure. It is important to follow the recommendations and have the installation done by professionals to ensure structural integrity and prevent any possible problems. The risk of damage from climbing plants that climb directly up the wall can be minimized by careful plant selection, regular growth monitoring and proper maintenance.

How should green walls and facades be maintained?

To keep green walls and facades in optimal shape, it is essential that a regular maintenance program is adopted. This should include activities such as regular trimming of plants, removal of dry or damaged leaves, checking and adjusting the irrigation system, and applying fertilizers according to the specific needs of the plants. Constant monitoring of the condition of plants and prompt intervention in case of problems can significantly contribute to maintaining the health and beauty of green walls.

Are green walls and facades fire resistant?

Yes, green walls and facades are designed and implemented to be fire resistant. Fireproof materials and construction systems that comply with fire safety standards are used. Our systems fulfill the aesthetic and ecological objectives, but also those related to the safety of the building in fire situations.

Can green walls and facades contribute to obtaining environmental certifications?

Yes, green walls and facades can significantly contribute to obtaining environmental certifications. They bring multiple benefits, such as energy efficiency, stormwater management, improved air quality and contribution to biodiversity. Integrating green walls and facades in construction or renovation projects can help meet standards for certifications such as LEED or BREEAM. They can also contribute to achieving NZEB standards.

These certifications attest to the commitment and positive environmental impact of projects where green walls and facades are implemented.