Light and Watertight

Light and Watertight

Originally published in Waterproof Magazine (view pdf version)

As waterproofing professionals know, one of the most crucial jobs of any roof system is to keep water out of the building. With this in mind, it seems one of the last things a designer would want to do is create a landscaped park on the roof, as the added weight and moisture make it tougher to achieve a watertight roof assembly.

But garden roofs are growing in popularity, with 18% growth in square footage in 2015, according to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Washington, D.C., led the way that year, with nearly 1.6 million sq. ft. installed. Although D.C. has held the number one spot for five years, the green roof phenomenon isn’t limited to government buildings.
Some of America’s largest companies have installed green roofs. Ford’s Dearborn, Mich., truck plant final assembly building sports one of the world’s largest living roofs at 454,000 sq. ft.

In 2015, Facebook opened its MPK 20 office building in Menlo Park, California, with a nine-acre living roof featuring more than 400 trees, a half-mile walking trail and small hills and valleys.

Increasingly, green roofs are using geosynthetic materials such as geofoam to help keep planted roofs light and watertight.

Continue reading in Waterproof Magazine to learn more about green roof benefits and overcoming challenges.