Green Roofing Systems

Green roofing is nothing new—the concept goes back centuries, and Germany started constructing modern green roofing systems in the 1960s—but it’s finally catching on in a more mainstream way. More and more companies and organizations are realizing the massive benefits that a green roof offers to not only their buildings, but the community at large.

Green Roofing Best Practices/Considerations

A green roof installation can improve the aesthetics of your building while providing insulation, energy savings, rainwater management, and an extended lifespan for your roof. Every building is different, so they all require a customized approach and careful cost-benefit analysis.

When you decide to add a green roof to your building, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind:

  • Green Roof Type: Extensive roofs have a thin layer of soil requiring minimal irrigation. They’re lightweight, low maintenance, and often ideal for large spaces, but you’ll have a limited selection of plants. Intensive green roofs are heavier, with deeper soil that provides favorable conditions for many types of plants. These roofs require irrigation and more extensive maintenance, but they can often be used as a rooftop park. Semi-intensive roofs typically have both intensive and extensive features. Green roofs can be installed on flat and low-slope roofs.
  • Green Roof Layers: No matter what type of green roof you choose, it will be made up of several layers, including decking, vapor control, insulation, a waterproof membrane, root barrier, drainage layer, filter, soil/substrate, and plants.
  • Installation Method: Hiring professionals to install your green roof is essential to ensure it meets construction regulations—and to make sure your building isn’t damaged in the process.
  • Irrigation Systems: Choose from spray or drip irrigation systems; in some cases, drainage-layer irrigation may be an option.
  • Soil Type: Depending upon the type of green roof and kind of plants you’re using, you can choose from specially-designed substrates that may include mulch, sand, pumice, clay, peat moss, vermiculite, and soil.
  • Plants:Intensive roofs can support almost any type of plant life, except those with aggressive and deep root systems. Choices are more limited on extensive green roofs.
  • Structural Requirements: Your building must be able to support the weight of the green roof, which includes the weight of the layers as well as water and potentially people, if your green roof is meant to be an outdoor recreational space.

Green Roofing Capabilities by Knickerbocker

With years of experience in green roof installation, Knickerbocker offers a range of green roofing services to ensure your roof lasts for years and serves its purpose as a recreational space, energy-saving insulator, stormwater management system, and more. We do extensive and intensive green roof installation, Electronic Field Vector Mapping (EFVM®), sprinkler systems, photovoltaic panels, and more, all backed by the manufacturer’s full system warranty.

Green Roofing Projects by Knickerbocker

You’ll see our work throughout the Chicago area, including at the Marmon Building, the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Glenview Public Library, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Center.

  • Marmon Building: Steep and low-slope roofing, garden roofing, EFVM system, inlaid gutter system
  • University of Chicago Medical Center: Photovoltaic panels, vent fabrication
  • Glenview Public Library: Adhered roof system, garden roofing, EFVM system
  • Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Center: Waterproofing, adhered roofing, EFVM system

Knickerbocker Roofing offers green roofing installation services for spaces ranging from 1,000 to 1,000,000 square feet according to standards set by the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA), the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), the Association of Subcontractors & Affiliates (ASA), the National Slate Association (NSA), the Tile Roofing Association, and other industry organizations. We work with schools, museums, hospitals, assisted living facilities, government organizations, and corporations to create aesthetically pleasing green roofs that help reduce the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, insulate the building and improve the efficiency of mechanical equipment, extend the life of the roof, and create public gathering spaces that enhance the community.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do and how your organization can benefit, financially and otherwise, from green roof installation, or to request a quote for your project.

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