Water-absorbing vegetation now grows on several renowned buildings in North America. Ford was a pioneer just over a decade ago when it designed and developed a living roof on top of the Dearborn Truck Plant. The Empire State Building in New York, Nintendo Headquarters in Washington, a FedEx facility at O’Hare International Airport, and the Javits Center in New York, all boast impressive, sustainable living roofs. Green roof experts and engineers estimate that these roofs will last 30-75 years. This is substantial when the average conventional roof lasts only 15 years.
The Design Process
Green roofs are considered remarkable feats of engineering and design. When planned correctly for their climate, green roofs will never need mowing. Depending on the microclimate in question, a backup irrigation system may be required – though it may never be used. Most green roofs only require fertilizing yearly in the spring.
Green Roof Maintenance
All roofs require maintenance and there is no such thing as a maintenance-free green roof. Green roof maintenance – after initial investment – is perceived as being one of the biggest deterrent from a developer or homeowner’s standpoint when it comes to buy-in. A maintenance schedule must be considered during the design process and will be in accordance with the outcome desired by the client. This may be weekly, quarterly, or semi-annual checks depending on the roof’s design. There are also different maintenance requirements for green roofs depending if they’re of commercial or residential size.
Lower Maintenance Green Roof Options
Even though biodiverse roofs are designed to be low maintenance, it’s strongly advised that the maintenance be scheduled into the budget during the design and development process.
Full Service Green Roofs
Just like yard, car, or house maintenance services, full service green roof maintenance professionals can also be hired. Because of increased demand for green roofs, as well as municipally-funded incentive programs, more and more specialized green roof services are available all the time.