Growing mosses, grass or herbs requires the least depth of the growing medium and reduces the load on roofs. This type of green roof is best where no traffic is anticipated, and depths may not exceed 150 mm. The depth has to increase to about 400 mm where it is planned to plant shrubs or even trees.
How Green Roofs Can Improve Air Quality
Plants help to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and also to produce the oxygen that is required by all living things. Cities have environments where there is a lot of carbon dioxide generated by people and many kinds of machinery that use fossil fuels.
Extensive planting in cities can help to improve the quality of air in the environment. These plants can not only reduce the carbon dioxide pollution, produce oxygen, but also act as areas that allow deposition of airborne particles, which may otherwise be dangerous to health.
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Encouraging Plant Growth
Green roofs are one way of encouraging the growth of plants in cities. These roofs also act to increase the insulation of roofs and reduce loads for the climate control in buildings, be it heating or cooling. The temperature reduction can be as high as 15 degrees Centigrade, where the water retention rates on a green roof are high. These roofs last for much longer than conventional roofs, and besides the natural insulation that the planting provides, creates a place where the users of a building can spend peaceful time among the greenery. These plant areas also help to absorb storm water, reduce energy costs and improve air quality all around the building.
Roof Top Constructions
A green roof is constructed on the top of structures after the roof surface has been adequately waterproofed and provided with the necessary strength to bear the extra load of the earth and plants. These roofs will be built in a number of layers, each of which performs a different function.
A base layer acts to completely waterproof the roof surface and must pay particular attention to any down takes meant to take away excess water from the roof gardening activities or the rain. The next layer can be a metal tray or any other membrane that can act to retain the required soil for the plants. It is also helpful if a layer is introduced that can serve to drain excess water, as well as a layer that prevents roots from piercing through. The growing medium can be soil or other media that will act to anchor the roots of the plants that are to be grown.