Our roof used 2 different plant mixtures -
Classic Carefree Sunny Mix
Sedum Album (Coral Carpet)
Sedum reflexum (Blue Spruce)
Sedum rupestre (Angelina)
Sedum spurium (dragon's blood)
Allium Flowering Onion
Sedum rupestre (Angelina)
Sedum Spurium (Royal Pink)
These plants are carefully selected to handle lots of rain but also do well for long periods without rain in our Minnesota climate. They will grow to be between 2 and 4 inches tall -and besides periodic weeding will require very little maintenance.
I like the Live Roof system because it comes fully planted and ready to rock and roll. We ordered the plants in early June and the nursery did most of our work for us - growing and caring for the plants all summer long before harvesting them for us this past week and prepping them for our installation. Now that they are on our roof, we don't need to be watching bare dirt with a few plant plugs watching and waiting for them to grow - it's an instant green!
Green Roofs help:
- Manage stormwater (up to 95% of rain fall is used by the green roof)
- Reduce Energy Costs (energy use reduction of 25% and higher)
- Extend the life of the primary roof system by 200% (protecting rooftop from temperature swings, ultraviolet radiation, etc)
- Noise Reduction
- Improve air quality
Here are some photos of the installation in progress:
We rented a scissors lift to help move the modules (about 50 lbs each) up to the rooftop. There was no way I was going to carry 400+ roof modules one at a time on a ladder. The plywood on the ground helps protect the newly planted lawn.
Even local celebrities get in on the act. Here, the famous Curt Kietzer carries the first of many modules to it's final destination. My brother Brian is working the lift.
Getting Started - all the modules click together to stabilize each other and promote better plant growth. The green soil elevators keep the soil in place until they are installed. Working from right to left, we filled in the rooftop pretty quickly. You can see the dark grey 45 mil epdm slip sheet we used as root barrier on top of our real roof membrane. We don't want the plants messing with our roof membrane!
Jeffrey Swainhart is the man with the saw cutting the modules at the end of each row to ensure a tight fit. Cutting takes a long time and should be minimized!
Curt K and Guy Williams seen splicing the joints at the metal edging - I favor the edging over the cutting .
When the upper roof was nearly complete, we started in on the lower roof (Shade Mix)
Lower roof complete
Upper roof complete
A nice detail so my ladder doesn't damage the plantings on the lower roof when I need to access the upper roof. The pavers are recycled rubber porous paver systems called VAST from our friends at Natural Built Home.
We've been measuring how much water our rooftop generates during each rainfall (we're collecting runoff in rain barrels). Now, with the green roof in place we can track the reduction in that amount. Rather than sending our runoff to the stormsewer system and thus to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River, we're using the rainwater to keep our plants healthy and happy so they can do all those good things for our home.