Have you ever thought of adding a green roof to your garden room, summerhouse, log cabin or home office? It’s certainly becoming a popular choice.
We work with the experts at Pritchard & Pritchard, who specialise in green roofs and living walls, to add green roofs to our bespoke garden buildings. Their founder, Charlotte Pritchard, talked to us about how green roofs work and the benefits of choosing one for your garden building.
What is a green roof?
“Beautiful, sustainable, energy-saving living roofs are transforming commercial and residential properties and helping to combat climate change. The term ‘green roof’ actually encompasses several different living-roof systems. Extensive roofs use low-maintenance plants, most commonly sedum. Semi-intensive roofs typically include a wider variety of hardy, drought-t plants, including wild flowers, herbaceous perennials, grasses and small shrubs. Intensive roofs have the widest variety of more demanding plants (in terms of substrate, maintenance and irrigation). They usually include perennials, grasses, bulbs and shrubs, in some cases, trees and lawns.
Why should I choose a green roof for my garden building?
“Apart from looking natural and attractive, a living roof can deliver many benefits, including helping to mitigate climate change and boost biodiversity. According to BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the benefits of a green roof include:
– Reducing a building’s energy consumption and lowering the cost of heating in winter and cooling in summer.
– Lowering the urban heat island effect by absorbing heat into the plants and substrate rather than re-emitting it to the local environment.
– Reducing surface water runoff.
– Improving air quality through plant respiration.
– Reducing noise through a building’s roof, both inside from external noise such as road traffic and outside from internal noise.
– Providing foraging resources for urban bees.
– Providing refuge for invertebrates from extreme temperatures.
That’s a whole host of benefits for you and the environment from choosing a green roof.”
Do green roofs require lots of care and maintenance?
“The type of roof you choose will affect the amount of upkeep required. Extensive roofs are low maintenance and an excellent choice for many homeowners. These require quarterly inspections and maintenance. Like any ground-level garden, if left alone, weeds will soon take over and plants will become oversized or die.
Semi-intensive and intensive planting schemes will require more visits. These monthly visits would include irrigation, fertilising, weeding, pruning, replacement planting or seeding, checking irrigation and drainage systems and pest control.”
How long will a green roof last?
“A properly installed, irrigated and maintained living roof should last for over 40 years. There are living roofs in Germany built using a similar lightweight type of system used today (pioneered in Germany) that date back to the 1970s. Arguably, the oldest living roof in the world is on top of a 400+ year-old medieval fortified tower house, Torre Guinigi, in Lucca, Italy.”
Can I have a green roof on any garden building?
Our Director, Martin Penny, comments, “You can choose to have a green roof on our exclusive The Hut Garden Room, or any of the Lugarde models of summerhouses, log cabin and garden rooms. You can choose from any size or shape. Compared to a standard roof option, the only additional consideration is that your garden building may need to be reinforced with extra rafters to strengthen the roof.”
At Coastal Garden Buildings, we have already installed several garden buildings with green roofs across Dorset, including in Swanage, Friars Cliff, and Wimborne. Why not pop into our show site next to Stewarts Garden Centre in Christchurch, Dorset? Have a look at our display of stunning garden buildings and chat to our team about the green roof option.
Pritchard & Pritchard is the UK’s leading independent installer of living walls, living roofs, podiums and roof gardens. You can find out more on their website: https://green-roofs.co.uk/