An Inside Look at Living Roofs
If you follow this approach toward energy savings, storm-water control, and progressive design, you had better get the details right.
Synopsis: Studies on living roofs have shown that they provide a number of economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits when designed and built properly: reducing annual heating and cooling costs, extending the life of the roofing material below the soil and plants, improving air quality, reducing outside noise, and controlling storm-water runoff. Author Roxi Thoren, an assistant professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Oregon, explains how the layers of a living roof work together in a system. She discusses the options for waterproofing membranes, lists three ways of insulating a living roof, and discusses soil retention and drainage on sloped roofs. A sidebar describes three ways of building a living roof with modular products.
For anyone who has fought moss growing on a shady roof, the idea of intentionally planting a living roof may seem odd, but living roofs make a lot of sense on many homes.…