In our dense Cities, more and more intensive Green Roofs are being built.
Besides all the environmental reasons, building owners recognized that a Roof Garden – usable green on the roof – creates additional value with a fast and consistent payback. A building with a roof garden is simply more attractive for tenants and potential buyers.
Typically, structural loads reduce this fantastic idea to a low profile extensive Green Roof or to an intensive green roof that is landscaped with Geofoam.
All professionals know that expanded polystyrene (Geofoam) is questionable from an environmental perspective. Some horticulturalists know that Geofoam has no benefits for the plants – actually, it reduces their rooting space for the plants (grass can root up to 3 feet deep) and consequently it increases maintenance and irrigation needs. As a result, most of these Roof Gardens with Geofoam are elevated intensive care nurseries.
Hardly any Roof Garden in Europe utilizes Geofoam because of the high risk of rodents and environmental conflicts. These roofs are being built with Foam Glass Gravel. Over the last 25 years Foam Glass Gravel replaced Geofoam and eliminated all the related disadvantages of Geofoam.
Foam Glass Gravel is 95% recycled glass, has a much higher compressive strength, the roots can practically expand like in a natural soil horizon and if combined with low-tide/high-tide irrigation the water and fertilizer consumption can be reduce by up to 75%.
The savings in no waste installations, less complicated irrigation systems, in water reduction and less maintenance make this material cheaper than any Geofoam application.
European architects also like the idea that you can create any type of landscaping on a roof without any problems, fully organic and without additional components. Foam Glass Gravel allows adding walkways, roads or other structures on top of it. Foam Glass Gravel has the best lightweight – compressive strength of all mineral materials available on earth.
The picture below shows typical setups of intensive Green Roofs with Foam Glass Gravel, like nature does it and to compare how people still do it with Geofoam.
Green Roof Service LLC – Green Roof Technology is proud to be the first that utilizes this advanced Green Roof solution with Foam Glass Gravel on projects in North America for amazing and low impact intensive Green Roofs.
By Jörg Breuning