How to make your rooftop a green oasis

How to make your rooftop a green oasis

How to make your rooftop a green oasis

According to a 2019 study from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 3,112,818 square feet of green roofs were installed across the US and three Canadian

provinces. This saved an estimated 5.06 million kWh of energy, retained 36.9 million gallons of storm water and supported 1,199 construction and 45 full-time maintenance jobs.

Green roofs, also known as vegetated roofs, provide both aesthetic and environmental benefits, including reducing heat island effects (urban areas that have higher heat than rural areas) and managing urban storm-water runoff. But designing and installing a green roof can be a challenge due to soil weights, managing drainage and ensuring that the roof is waterproof. As part of the Carlisle family, Insulfoam offers structural and insulating products that team up with Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing (CCW) technologies to create a high-performing and beautiful rooftop ecosystem.

Creating a green roof starts with utilizing Insulfoam Geofoam, which is made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), to create the roof’s shape and features. The EPS infill is then paired with quality waterproofing products such as those from CCW to help prevent moisture intrusion and provide a growth medium for plants and even trees.

Dirt don’t hurt

EPS Geofoam is a lightweight option for producing contoured landscape designs and other rooftop features on low-sloped roofs. It offers superior performance in reducing a roof’s dead load because it weighs approximately 0.7 to 2.85 pounds per cubic foot, depending on the product type, compared to 99 to 116 pounds per cubic foot for soil. Additionally, because of its closed-cell structure, EPS Geofoam dries quickly compared with other fill materials. As a result, little, if any, weight gain is expected when exposed to any water.

This weight-saving ability has appealed to numerous designers, such as Facebook’s MPK 20 office in Menlo Park. Because of EPS Geofoam’s light weight, designers were able to create a nine-acre living roof that features more than 400 trees and even includes a half-mile walking trail replete with small hills and valleys.

Designing the ideal outdoor environment

But it’s not just the weight that designers need to consider. From different plants to drainage challenges, building and landscape designers need flexibility to customize the outdoor environment. In addition to the underlying roofing structure, Insulfoam and Carlisle make engineering these spaces more straightforward by providing a complete green roof system that integrates waterproofing, drainage, root barriers and even soils.

Carlisle also provides data sheets that capture engineering and testing results across all of its waterproofing systems, as well as best practice guides for specifying and installing these products. This includes soil weights and how to calculate how much waterproofing products, such as Carlisle’s CCW 500GR liquid membrane system, are needed. Additionally, a full suite of information is available to assist in the hardest part of the decision making: what plants to include.

Waterproofing technology from CCW and infill and insulation products from Insulfoam make the process of designing a green roof straightforward. The products from CCW and Insulfoam work in harmony to deliver a high performing green roof to sustainable sky-high projects. By selecting long-lasting and time-saving products, building owners, architects and landscape designers can find peace of mind that their vision can stand the test of time.

If you’re ready to build your green roof, contact our team today for more information on how to get started with Insulfoam EPS Geofoam.