Landscaping, Elevated

You’ve likely seen plants growing on top of a commercial building or as an alternative to conventional roofing somewhere in your own community. A green roof — or vegetated roof, garden roof, living roof, or eco-roof — is a multi-layered system of plants, lightweight growing media, and other geotechnical components that are installed over a man-made, waterproof membrane.

Green roofs not only transform rooftops into beautiful green spaces, but they’re also the most popular form of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Dollar for dollar, there’s no other form of GSI that provides the same triple bottom line — environmental, social, and economic — benefits in both the public and private sectors.

Green Roof Benefits

Stormwater Management

Green roofs are the first stop on the stormwater treatment train. Starting at the point where the raindrop first hits, a green roof is designed to manage stormwater by retaining a large portion of annual rainfall. It provides both volume and flow rate control during rain events, and the amount of stormwater that’s released downstream is greatly reduced and slowed down, also helping to minimize erosion issues.

Aesthetics & Marketability

A green roof adds beauty to any rooftop setting. Many are even designed as part of attractive and inviting rooftop living spaces. After installing a green roof, building owners usually see an increase in the value of their property (especially in multi-unit developments), and are able to use these outdoor spaces as marketable amenities.

Additional Living Space

In some applications, green roofs are incorporated with other rooftop installations — patios, pedestal pavers, wooden decks, etc. — to provide usable, outdoor living spaces. Popular in both dense urban centers and smaller communities, the addition of raised planters and other rooftop-level vegetation creates inviting landscapes that are otherwise hard to come by.

Increased Biodiversity

By introducing a suitable habitat that’s out of harm’s way, a green roof helps to increase biodiversity. They are safe havens for pollinating insects, butterflies, and migratory birds. Beekeepers use them as apiairies, and birds are able to safely create nests, away from ground-dwelling predators — each thriving in ways that would have been tricky otherwise.

Membrane Life

Vegetated roofs offer protection from damaging UV light, hail, and other physical destruction. A rooftop membrane that’s protected under the various layers of a green roof assembly has a much longer lifespan than a standard roof that’s fully exposed to the elements. The useful life of a waterproofing and/or roofing membrane can be increased by as much as 3-4 times than that of a standard application.

Improved Health & Well-Being

It’s no secret that people benefit from being surrounded by or simply within sight of vegetation. Plants have healing properties and provide a welcoming, healthy, and therapeutic environment. Green roofs allow for them to be incorporated into commercial, healthcare, municipal, institutional, and residential rooftops, where tenants or visitors would not otherwise receive any sort of benefit.

Energy Savings & Cooling

Green roofs offer the opportunity for energy savings and in some cases, these savings can be significant. By increasing the evaporative cooling surface area, the urban heat island effect is minimized. The evapotranspiration that occurs on a green roof causes overall cooling, which can reduce the energy demands of certain buildings.

Food Production

Rooftops typically receive more sunlight than at-grade landscapes, simply because they’re closer to the sun and these taller structures aren’t usually shaded by surrounding tree lines. This increased sun exposure makes them a great option for rooftop agriculture and even aquaculture and aquaponics. A green roof that acts as a rooftop garden is a win-win solution, especially in urban settings where farmable property is scarce and food deserts may exist. Think of it as roof to table eating!

Types of Green Roofs

Green roofs come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your project’s unique situation and needs, we’ll recommend which green roof technology is the best option.

Extensive Green Roof





Intesntive Green Roof Inhabitect


Sloped Green Roof Inhabitect

BLUE roofs

A blue roof is designed to mimic a natural hydrologic system. It’s engineered and designed to manage stormwater, over an appropriate waterproofing, and under very specific performance standards and parameters.   

Pedestal Pavers

Pedestal pavers are installed over a specially-designed pedestal support system. These assemblies help create a flat walking surface on a sloping rooftop. The pavers are made from high-density concrete, non-rotting wood, or porcelain tile. The pedestals can be fixed or adjusted to heights as high as 36 inches. Using pedestals raises the pavers off the existing roof surface — sloped or not — to create a flat, yet elevated walking surface. This technology is perfect for providing ADA compliant thresholds on commercial or residential rooftop patios.  

Let’s Talk

With nearly two decades of green roof experience under our belts, we’re proud to be considered one of North America’s experts, and the industry agrees. Click to schedule a time to talk with us about your green roof project or technical questions.