Green Roofs

tallinum roofThe Green Learning Station is home to four types of vegetated roof systems, or green roofs. The types of systems you can see on our site are:

  • extensive built in place, 4″ of growing medium, planted with plugs
  • extensive biodegradable tray, 4″ of growing medium
  • intensive built in place, planted with annual and perennial vegetables, 12″ of growing medium
  • extensive sloped built in place, 4″ of growing medium, planted with sedum carpet.

Why plant a green roof?

vegetable roofGreen roofs use sponge-like soil and plants to suck up rain, keeping it out of our sewer system and decreasing combined sewer overflows. But that’s not all, they also:

  • act like a sweater for a building: insulating it from changes in temperature and acting as a sound barrier
  • create habitat for insects, birds and even lizards
  • take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen
  • provide beautiful views for those overlooking them
  • increase usable green space in urban environments
  • reduce the heat island effect.

Green Roof Glossary

extensive: a shallow green roof, usually less than 6″ of growing medium
growing medium: soil engineered to be light weight and absorbent, usually comprised of expanded shale (halite), sand and compost
intensive: a shallow green roof, usually more than 8″ of growing medium
plugs: small plants with a root area the size of your thumb
sedum: a large genus of flowering plants that are succulents (store water in their leaves) and tend to be drought tolerant and prefer well-drained soils, also known as stonecrops
sedum carpet: a coconut fiber mat embedded with soil and planted with sedums that can be rolled out onto a roof, giving it instant plant coverage