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Green Roofing

A Green Roof intercepts and delays rainfall runoff by:

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    Capturing and holding precipitation in the plant foliage

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    Absorbing water in the root zone

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    Slowing runoff as it infiltrates through the layers of vegetated cover

How has a Green Roof helped the environment ?

Buildings incur a significant environmental impact:
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    65.2% of total Canada’s electricity consumption

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    More than 36% of Canada’s total primary energy use

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    30% of total Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

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    12% of direct consumption of potable water in Canada.

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    136 million tons of construction and demolition waste in Canada. (approx. 2.8 lbs/person/day)

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    40% (3 billion tons annually) of raw materials use globally

Also known as an eco-roof or a living roof. A green roof is a wild garden of grasses and herbs planted on a suitable surface, usually on an urban house. Green roofs can be “intensive”, “semi-intensive” or “extensive”. Traditional roof gardens, which need more soil to grow large plants lawns, are labor-intensive, need irrigation, feeding and maintenance. Extensive green roofs are designed to be virtually self-sustaining.

Maintenance is once yearly and involves weeding or an application of slow-release fertilizer to boost growth. They can be established on a very thin layer of “soil” (most use specially-formulated composts): a thin layer of Rockwool laid directly onto a watertight roof can support a planting of Sedum and mosses.
It traps rainfall and releases it slowly, so it helps to prevent the flooding that can happen after a storm in a built-up area.

Green roofs create buildings and developments that heal rather than harm the environment. Green roof structures can become net producers of energy, clean water and air, as well be a part of healthy human and biological communities.

It’s also called an eco-roof or a living roof. A green roof is a wild garden of grasses and herbs planted on a suitable surface, usually on an urban house. Green roofs can be “intensive”, “semi-intensive” or “extensive”. Traditional roof gardens, which need more soil to grow large plants lawns, are labour-intensive, need irrigation, feeding and maintenance. Extensive green roofs are designed to be virtually self-sustaining. Maintenance is once yearly and involves weeding or an application of slow-release fertilizer to boost growth. They can be established on a very thin layer of “soil” (most use specially-formulated composts): a thin layer of Rockwool laid directly onto a watertight roof can support a planting of Sedum and mosses.
It traps rainfall and releases it slowly, so it helps to prevent the flooding that can happen after a storm in a built-up area. It also acts as extra insulation for the building. But its principal virtue is that it’s a haven for wildlife, especially beetles and spiders. In turn these provide food for birds—the black redstart has been encouraged to nest in one part of London as a result of green-roof construction. A recent survey for English Nature found over a hundred species of bugs, some of them rare, in a mixture not found in nature. This has led to the creation of tecticolous as a term to describe this characteristic group (from Latin tectum, a roof).
“The building features a “Green Roof” built on top of the parking deck to provide additional outdoor space and help with storm water runoff.”
[The Capital Times (Madison, WI), 21 Sep. 2004 ].
“It’s a remarkable thing, having a green roof,” says Jon Alexander, who can stand in his dining room and look out on his planted garage roof in Ballard. “There is this constantly changing show, including wildlife—birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees.”
[The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 Sep. 2004 ].

What is a Green Roof?

Green roof, eco-roof, nature roof or green roofing systems are general terms referring to vegetated roof coverings consisting of a thin layer of living vegetation installed on top of a modified conventional roof system with significant changes. Modern green roof systems replace traditional rooftops; flat or angled up to 45 degrees, with a series of carefully engineered layers. A water and root- repellent membrane is installed on top of a reinforced roof structure. A filter layer is placed between the base membrane and a layer of soil as thin as 1.2 inch thick. Finally the soil layer is seeded with varieties of simple durable plants- sedums, perennial grasses and other “rock garden” plants. Within a short period of time the entire rooftop is covered with a solid layer of dense vegetation forming an ecologically friendly environment where a potentially harmful one existed. The new roof will perform its intended design functions in an excellent manner, as well as, deliver a multitude of additional benefits.

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The green roof concept is akin to the popular, but traditionally heavy and difficult to maintain roof garden found atop buildings worldwide. Roof gardens are nothing new. Gardens for the enjoyment and relief of city dwellers have existed atop buildings for decades. Such roof gardens are expensive to build, often require modification of the structural system of the building to support the increased load and are fairly high in maintenance requirements.
When it comes to roofing, concern for the environment isn’t new either. For decades roofing choices have had an environmental and energy impact on civilization. Today, energy efficient and environmentally friendly roof designs are growing in popularity, as even more and more building owners become aware of how much their roofing choices can affect the environment as well as their pocketbooks. Modern green roof systems generally fall into two categories, extensive or intensive, depending on the type of landscape structural burden. Extensive green roof systems are designed for lightweight planting burden construction on flat or sloped roofs. Intensive green roof systems are intended for heavier landscape construction for flat roofs and landscape planters. There are distinct differences in the application and design criteria for the load requirements of each system.

Extensive systems may be installed over any properly designed deck, including Concrete, wood and steel. Typically a vapour barrier or vapour retarder is installed over the deck depending on occupancy and local conditions. Over the vapour retarder or substrate a layer(s) of (optional) thermal insulation is installed. Mechanical fastening of the insulation may be required depending on wind uplift conditions, slope, building height and local codes.

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The waterproofing membrane and metal flashings are installed to complete the watertight envelope. Decks with slopes of 8 degrees or more may require the installation of landscape retainers at the roof membrane elevation. Intensive systems may be installed over decks designed to accommodate the added load. Typically, concrete decks are the best design choice.

Eco-roofs are becoming fairly common in parts of Europe, principally in Germany and the Netherlands, where green roof technology is well researched and a green roof industry is well developed. The Amsterdam airport has incorporated a sloped green roof into the design of its terminal building. Some cities in Germany now require green roofs on flat-roofed buildings; by 1996 over 3.2 million square feet of green roofs had been constructed in Germany alone. Green roof technology explores and promotes interest in viable solutions that are aesthetically, functionally and environmentally friendly. It addresses the urgent ecologically demanding issues of air and water quality and storm water management. Green roofs help to invest in the protection of our environment by diminishing developmental impact on our communities while providing a fresh approach with visually appealing organic architecture. The new paradigm, variously known as eco-roofs, green roofs or extensive roof gardens, typically cover the entire roof of a building with a continuous thin growing medium that supports low vegetation. Eco-roofs are lightweight, modern versions of he sod roofs that are a centuries-old tradition in Scandinavia. Because of their light weight eco-roofs require little additional load-bearing capacity from a buildings structural systems; in many cases they may be installed on existing buildings with no structural modification. They do not require flat roofs as do conventional roof gardens but may be installed on roofs with slopes of up to forty-five degrees if provided with a raised grid structure to hold the growing medium in place. Additionally eco-roofs typically require little of no irrigation or fertilizer. Green roofs create buildings and developments that heal rather than harm the environment. Green roof structures can become net producers of energy, clean water and air, as well be a part of healthy human and biological communities.

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Testimonials

  • Olympia Tile & Stone office and flagship showroom facility was covered with an aging and deteriorating roofing system, and the leaks had begun to disrupt daily business operations. Olympia needed an immediate fix. According to Guycan’s Roof Consultant “with a built-up system, we would have needed to postpone the project until spring when the snow and ice melts. Olympia Tile could not afford to wait because the current roof wouldn’t withstand another winter season. Leaks were already causing damage to their product inventory. Despite challenging weather conditions, including cold temperatures, high winds and record snowfall; Guycan was able to install the Duro-Last roofing system in 28 working days. Guycan has installed another Duro-Last roofing system at an Olympia showroom location in Ottawa (10,000 square feet) and are working on other locations for Olympia.

    Olympia Tile & Stone

  • Kleen-Flo Tumbler Industries Limited had a roof that was over 30 years old, and needed constant repair to keep from leaking. Guycan’s repair service was able to contain the leaks, and keep the problem from worsening. Sukhdev Mann was so impressed by the prompt service; he decided to hire Guycan for the 85,000 sq.ft. re-roofing project. Guycan was able to install the Duro-Last membrane in 4 weeks with no disruption to Kleen-Flo’s daily operations. Sukhdev was impressed not only by the workmanship Guycan was providing, but also by the unique relationship he was able to build with Guycan owners Randy and Jason Deonarain. When it was time for Kleen-Flo to install solar panels, Guycan was the only solution.

    Kleen-Flo

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