5 Tips for Your DIY Green Roof Construction

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Start at the Top When Going Green: Roofing

When it comes to your DIY green roof construction, it’s important to develop a checklist that you can ensure compliance with, throughout the project’s construction. This checklist can be developed by brainstorming and thinking over every aspect of the roof.

In doing so, you will be better prepared when you begin work on the roof and you will have a well-defined plan already established.

There are a lot of options for green roofs today, and just deciding what materials you will use for the roof can be a difficult decision to make. The actual construction of the roof will be even more trying, so it’s important to have a rough guideline that you can follow to complete the project within an appropriate amount of time, and with high quality standards.

The five tips that you will find below can help you develop and brainstorm for this checklist.

Building Codes and Roofing

Anytime that you take on a project as large and as serious as a green roof construction, it’s imperative that you read and evaluate the building codes in your local area. Every city is subject to building codes and your project must first be approved before you can begin work.

To obtain approval, you should talk with the officials that are in charge of building code regulations in your area. They will provide you with the proper paperwork to get a written approval on your project.

Decide on the Materials for Your Green Roof

Deciding on the materials that you are going to use is vital. This should be one of the first things you accomplish as the entire construction of the roof is reliant on this one factor. If you are going for a completely “green” roof with a plant layer on top, you can find a basic layout for the architecture of the roof below.

  • Top layer – Plant life such as grass.
  • Second layer – Soil mix/dirt for the plant life above.
  • Third layer – A soil/dirt filter made from fabric.
  • Fourth layer – Drain mat to allow excess water to drain off the roof.
  • Fifth layer – A waterproof membrane that protects the roof from water.
  • Sixth layer – A sub waterproof membrane offering additional protection.
  • Seventh layer – The deck of the roof.

There are many other factors to be considered as well. Some green roof constructions use insulation and structural support to provide additional protection and benefits for the home.

Types of Plants That Work on Green Roofs

While this may not be a determinant factor for the construction of the roof, the plant life that you use can have a significant impact on the aesthetics of your roof. Green roofs can be beautiful, provided that the plant life is vibrant and appealing.

Do extensive research and find out what types of plants look best on a green roof and find out whether or not they are available within your budget. Some homeowners choose to have more useful plant life, such as a vegetable garden, while others are looking for plants that will capture the beauty of nature for their home.

Consider Solar Panels

Solar panels can save you money on energy costs and they provide character to the roof of a home. A green roof is just not the same without the presence of solar panels. Today, solar panels are inexpensive and they greatly improve the aesthetics and functionality of a green roof.

Regular Watering

Green roofs are not entirely self-sufficient. Like all plant life, the plants on your roof will require watering. It’s best to accommodate for this during the beginning stages of the roofs construction. Automatic watering systems can save you time and money; they are much preferred over regular trips to the roof to ensure the plants stay healthy.

Remember to build your roof durably to withstand the weight of excess water. The weight of your roof will increase as the plant life is provided water.

[Photo Via: science.howstuffworks]

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