In modern densely populated cities, every year there is less and less territory for parks and natural plantings, and the air continues to be polluted by gas emissions. A great way out of this situation are the roof gardens. They are small green filters, islands of true nature, bringing calm and beauty. Green oases created by human hands on the roofs of houses save residents of megacities not only from polluted air. It is also an effective cure for stress. What could be better than relaxing on the green lawn on the roof of the house? In other words, the roof garden is an additional space for the life of a city dweller. Consider below why he is so good and what are the features of his device.
- Roof Garden – Its Benefits
- Types of roof gardening
- How to set up a roof garden?
- What plants to choose for a roof garden?
Roof Garden – Its Benefits
Obviously, landscaping a roof provides many advantages and benefits:
- It reduces air pollution, because plants absorb carbon dioxide, and in return emit oxygen. In addition, greens retain dust and toxic substances in the air..
- The green roof has excellent thermal insulation properties: it reduces the heating of the roof in the heat, but in winter, on the contrary, it does not allow heat to go outside. This reduces the cost (about 20%) for heating a house in winter and air conditioning in the summer. Gardens on the roof (if there will be a lot of them) are able to reduce the temperature of the entire microdistrict and even the city as a whole.
- Green roof reduces noise for upper floors
- It absorbs part of the rain, preventing them from flooding the streets during heavy rains. The gradual evaporation of rainwater, which is absorbed into the soil on the roof, helps maintain natural moisture, creating a healthy microclimate.
- Compensates for the space, returning to the owner the green lawns that died under construction. When arranging a green roof, the operating area of the building increases, it becomes possible to equip here a great place for a pleasant stay.
- Protects the roof from the harmful effects of weather conditions – rain, snow, heat, frost, prolonging its service life. The green roof can last at least 20 years without repair.
- The green roof ennobles the building, it always looks beautiful and spectacular.
Types of roof gardening
Depending on the principle of using the garden, there are two types of roof greening: intensive and extensive.
At intensive landscaping rest in the garden is as active as possible. Therefore, lawns, beds and paths can not do without. Such roof gardening involves the use of larger plants, including shrubs and trees. Often in the design of landscape design, alpine hills and even small ponds are used, and in special containers they have whimsical and exotic plants. For hot days in the roof garden you can equip a shady corner with a hammock and deck chairs, if, of course, the area allows. This type of landscaping of the roof is most suitable for private homes. In this case, the load on the structure will be considerable, sometimes reaching 900 kg per square meter.
Extensive way does not imply any additional amenities for humans, plants for the garden are priority here. All landscaping work is carried out in this case only to create a favorable environment for plants. This method is used on flat roofs or for roofs with a slight slope in order to reduce the need for constant care. The weight of the roof in this case is usually not more than 15 kg per square meter, so there is no need to strengthen the foundation additionally. If you plant perennial plants that almost do not need care (shearing, watering), such a roof will exist for a long time on its own.
Extensive landscaping of the roofs of buildings is most often used to decorate terraces, shopping centers, garages. If landscaping works were carried out by specially trained people, and all the requirements were taken into account, then soon a real ecosystem with small birds and insects will form on the roof.
How to set up a roof garden?
If there is a desire to create a roof garden, then when developing a garden project, a number of specific features should be taken into account:
- First of all, it is necessary to calculate what the load on the foundation and the roof will be, because they will have to withstand the additional weight of the fertile soil and the plants themselves. In addition, all kinds of decorative elements, necessary equipment and some furniture can be placed on the roof.
- It is necessary to create conditions that will prevent the roots of plants from growing rapidly, because this process is quite natural for them.
- In the place where the future garden will be laid, it is necessary to make a reliable waterproofing of the roof.
- It is necessary to carefully consider the design of irrigation and drainage systems. Since the green roof requires periodic irrigation, it is necessary to develop a system for removing excess water, as well as maintaining the required amount for the existence and successful growth of plants. Conventional nozzles are useful for the lawn, and it’s better to water the plants planted in the tank by drip irrigation.
- The garden should be lit at night, so you need to spend there and electricity.
Important! Since the green zone on the roof is made for people, you need to think about security measures when moving them on the roof: you need to create a reliable parapet along the edges of the terrace.
Let’s get back to the issue of roofing. In order to build a roof garden, you need to build an inverse roof, the structure of which resembles a layer cake:
- The first step is to create a complete waterproofing. To do this, bitumen-polymer roll materials are lined on floor slabs. The bottom layer is attached to the base mechanically, and the top is fused.
- The second step is the laying of a heat-insulating layer in the form of plates of extruded polystyrene foam. They are laid tightly, but without fixation, so as not to disrupt the waterproofing layer.
- Next, drainage is arranged between the layers of rolled material – geotextiles, the stripes of which are laid with one layer with an overlap. A layer of gravel or pebbles is used for drainage..
Soil is poured on the formed “pie”, and plants and trees are planted.
What plants to choose for a roof garden?
As in any other garden, here you can create flower beds, lawns, make paths.
On the roof, plants begin to grow in the spring 4-14 days earlier than below on the ground, and with the same time difference they bloom, bear fruit, and dress in autumn foliage. This must be taken into account when combining decorative combinations of plants. However, the ecological criterion for their combination is much more important – the compatibility of different types of shrubs and trees.
When landscaping the roof, it is recommended to plant unpretentious and hardy plants characteristic of mountain flora. It is better to choose spiraea, vesicles, derain, which with regular haircut turn into luxurious topiary in the near future. Plants planted in large containers and containers feel good.
Of conifers, mountain pines, arborvitae, cushion spruce, juniper are suitable. Small dwarf trees and standard forms will also be appropriate. And you can’t do without an indispensable companion of walls and canopies – girl’s grapes!
To plant pitched roofs, stonecrops are most often used. A protective film, a special water-retaining sponge and then cassettes with stonecrops are placed on the waterproofing layer. When landscaping with stonecrops, the roof subsequently requires virtually no maintenance.
Fashion trends of recent years, calling to think about ecology and nature, are increasingly making rooftop gardens popular. And who might not like the idea of their own corner of wildlife in the sea of concrete and asphalt? More recently, landscaping roofs of buildings was considered exotic among us – it was mainly used by owners of luxury country houses and advanced summer residents. Today, one pleasant trend has appeared – roof gardens have become popular not only in private homes, but also in restaurants, public and office buildings, banks, sports complexes, and this phenomenon undoubtedly has a bright future..