An intensive green roof is composed of fairly deep substrates (20cm+) and have the ability to support a variety of plant types including trees and shrubs as well as a number of perennials, grasses and annuals. As a result an intensive green roof is fairly specialised as they are generally heavy and require specific support from the building.
An intensive green roof (commonly thought of by most people to be a roof garden) has in the past been created using a traditional garden design by simply reproducing landscapes found on the ground, such as lawns, flower beds and water features.
However as they have evolved, a more contemporary intensive green roof can be a truly visually and environmentally exciting area.
By integrating water management systems into an intensive green roof that processes waste water from the building as well as storing surplus rainwater in constructed wetlands and because of their larger plant material and horticultural diversity, an intensive green roof will likely require significant input of resources – the usual pruning, clipping, watering and weeding as well as irrigation and fertilization.
An intensive green roof will serve several for several beneficial purposes for a building, including the absorption of rainwater, the provision of high quality insulation, the creation of a safe haven and habitat for wildlife, whilst also helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect.
There are two varieties of intensive green roof: the standard intensive green roof, which are thicker and can support a wider variety of plants but are heavier and require more maintenance, and extensive roofs, which are covered in a light layer of vegetation and are lighter than an intensive green roof.
For some great examples of what an intensive green roof can look like, take a look at Canary Wharf Estate, Canada Square and West Ferry Circus and the roof of Cannon Street Station in London.
If you would like any further information regarding an intensive green roof, please give us a call & we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
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