​7 steps to a green roof for your home

Sucheta Mehra Sucheta Mehra
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The green roof is a fairly new concept that is slowly and gradually gaining a lot of popularity. Apart from the fact that they look absolutely beautiful when paired against subtle or colourful exteriors, green roofs also make an incredible natural insulation as it prevents the direct entry of sunlight on your ceiling. These green roofs thereby, help in keeping your house cool naturally by not employing any use of energy. However, the design of green roofs is not an easy task. It involves a lot of guidance and maintenance. Therefore, to help you maintain a close rendezvous with nature and save a lot on your electric bill, we bring to you an idea book that educates you about the step-by-step creation of a green roof starting from the right structure itself. Green roofs can be created on top of bedrooms, living rooms, garage or even kennels. Be it any location, the procedure remains the same for all.

Make sure the structure can support plant life

modern Houses by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Residential green roofs

Organic Roofs

The first step to designing green roofs is to analyse whether the roof structure will support plant life or not. Analysing the direction of the sun and sun rays during the day can do this. If your roof or terrace gets a lot of sunlight, plants may die in its heat. So try fixing the place after being perfectly sure about the direction of the sun. You may also need to check that your roof is not very inclined for the plants. If it is, plants may fall and crumble. This will prevent them to get uniform heat and water and thus might lead to their decay. You may also need to be sure that scavengers or too many birds do not attack your roof or terrace during the daytime. If this number is pretty high, it’s better to shift the position of green plants to another rooftop.

Include a proper drainage system

modern Houses by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Residential green roofs

Organic Roofs

A proper drainage system is highly recommended for the prolonged life of plants. Even in green roofs, plants will flourish only if they are provided with a regular supply of water and nutrients. The installation of drainage system on a rooftop can be a cumbersome task. Therefore, it is always advisable to go with a professional plumber and electrician. You will need to install a sturdy piping system that can guarantee good flow of water in continuous amounts. You may also need to set up water pumps that will aid in transferring water from ground level to top level. The piping system should be such that it remains concealed most of the times otherwise might tarnish the look of the exteriors. Designed by Organic roofs, professional roofers in UK, above shown is a perfect example of a roof top drainage system.

Place the earth and proper fertilizers

modern Houses by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Commercial and public green roofs

Organic Roofs

Just like any other plants, even the green rooftops need a regular supply of fertilisers and earthy materials. Green plants on roof top are continuously exposed to the harsh sun rays and irregular rainfall. They might at times have to deal with snowstorms and blizzards as well. So to help them sustain the natural atrocities, proper doses of fertilisers and nutrients is absolutely a must. One also needs to be sure of the quantities of fertiliser added. You simply cannot add a lot of fertiliser at once and then forget about the addition in the entire season. This will result in the early decay of plants, which may pose as a threat to your beautiful natural feature.

Check the appropriate inclination

modern Houses by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Commercial and public green roofs

Organic Roofs

Before putting in any plants on the rooftop, one needs to check the inclination of those roofs. If your roof is built in a classic cathedral style, you just cannot afford to plant on the sides as plants may get crumbled. They will tend to droop from the rooftops pertaining to gravitational pull. Therefore, before decorating your rooftops, take the advice of a professional who can guide you with their placement and position. While flat surfaces are ideal for green rooftops; you can even go with semi inclined or marginally inclined surfaces as well.

Prepare the surface of your roof

 Terrace by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Fulham Roof Terrace

Organic Roofs

garden is not born as a place to grow plants. It is nourished with the help of water, nutrients and fertilizers to make it perfect for plants to grow. Similarly, the surface of the rooftops has to be prepared before doing any kind of plantation. This takes place with the help of proper levelling of the place that prepares the first base of plantation. After levelling, uniform soil needs to be spread all over the place. The soil can be levelled with the help of a leveller that can help push the soil, even in deep corners of the architecture.  After the soil is added, you can then add the fertilisers and water to prepare a moist bed for the plants.

Plant with care

modern Garage/shed by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Garage with sedum roof

Organic Roofs

Planting the plants is the most crucial stage of green rooftops. This stage involves carrying over the plants to the rooftop and then planting them well in the soil bed so that they nourish in a healthy manner. The plants or saplings should be carried along with the cover so that they do not lose their shape in case of accidental drops. The plants should also be carried only one by one so that not much damage is caused in case some mishap takes place. The best way to plant is to call over a professional who can help you with the general planting procedure. Once the plant is planted in the suitable position, it needs to be covered in a good layer of soil for further nourishment

Take care and enjoy

rustic Garage/shed by Organic Roofs
Organic Roofs

Garden shed with green roof

Organic Roofs

Plants come with numerous benefits. They do provide freshness and sustainability in the neighbourhood. The green rooftops do the same. They help to create a natural insulation in the house, which helps, in passive cooling. It not only saves your electricity bill but also helps you decorate your house apart from the usual garden or lawn style. Planting low-maintenance coloured flowers that will enhance the look of your house manifold can further embellish this feature. It makes the house visually appealing even from a distance and imparts a natural theme.

We hope these designs definitely inspired you for having a greener roof. For more ideas, you can always browse through the Homify website. Here's link to another  ideabook that is sure to amaze you : A multipurpose home full of surprise 

Would you like to incorporate green roofs in your house design? Let us know in the comments below.
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