Green Roofs

last modified 19.03.09


Green Roofs are, in short, vegetated roofs, or roofs with vegetated spaces.They are also referred to as eco-roofs, living roofs and roof gardens.Green roofs have been with us for centuries ranging from the hanging gardens of Babylon to the turf roofed dwellings of Ireland and Scandinavia. However, modern green roofs have largely developed in the last 50 years, with increasing sophistication to meet a growing range of needs.

Most of this technological advance has been made in Germany; their growth in the 1970s and 1980s has lead to a £39million industry. Modern green roof systems are highly durable and provide a number of key sustainable and environmental benefits.

Within the UK the growth of self-build and ecological construction processes from the late 1960s saw an increasing interest in green roofs over the following decades. Within the past 5 years there has been a significant renewed interest in green roofs, and a marked increase in green roofs being designed and installed. Many of these are part of urban regeneration schemes, but be it the garden shed or a large commercial block in the heart of our cities, the opportunities are almost endless.

Currently, there are approx 100,000m2 of Green Roofs within the Greater London area.

Out of these figures, approx 35,000m2 of Extensive Green Roof Systems have been completed, and 65,000m2 Intensive Green Roof Systems completed. There are a further 16,000m2 planned Extensive Green Roofs.

Every successful green roof system is built upon a sound waterproofing foundation. Selecting a waterproofing manufacturer and roofing system you can trust are essential to give long term, guaranteed performance.

Ruberoid/IKO have designed and installed waterproofing systems for over 100 years, and offer the most comprehensive range of selected waterproofing systems compatible with green roof finishes.

Green Roofs for sheds & garages made easy

Green roofs can provide many benefits, including improved views, attracting wildlife, decreasing rainwater run-off during storms and increasing energy efficiency. Whilst large-scale projects should be entrusted to specialised firms, smaller scale domestic projects, such as garage roofs and sheds, are relatively simple as long as they follow certain principles.

Green Roof Features and Benefits
  • Enhances the environment
  • Improves aesthetic appearance
  • Improves thermal performance
  • Improves ambient air quality
  • Increases life expectancy of waterproofing membrane
  • Extensive green roofs require little long-term maintenance

Installing & equipment to ‘Green Roof’ your shed or garage

Step 1 - Containment wooden frame and Permatorch Anti-Root Roofing Felt
Ensure to ‘brace’ the inside of the shed, then construct a containment frame around the perimeter of the roof to hold the green roof materials. (The frames will need to be rot resistant). Typical sheds will already have an asphalt or bitumen felt layer for waterproofing, however green roofs require an additional layer of waterproof material which is root-resistant. Install Permatorch Anti-Root Roofing Felt underneath the wooden frame.

Step 2 - Plasfeed 5 + 1 Filter/Drainage Layer
Install Plasfeed 5 + 1 Drainage and Protection Layers

Step 3 - Growing Medium (Soil)
Apply the specially formulated Growing Medium Mixtures with a trowel or by hand.

Step 4 - Sedum Blanket
Carefully cut the sedum blanket to size where necessary and install.

Step 5
During the first year, you should supply sufficient water and occasional fertilizing until the plants have fully established. During warm weather watering is also required.

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