Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Green Roofs, Ecological Functions

  • Manfred Köhler
  • Andrew Michael Clements
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_207


Green roofs are engineered constructions that include environments suitable for well-adapted plant species. In most cases, these types of roofing have a longer lifespan than conventional roofing surfaces. The following elements are built on top of the roof structure
  • The underlying protective layer is made of an impervious material such as bitumen, rubber, polystyrene, or other similarly adequate technical materials, in short: roof protection membranes.

  • Additional, root barrier layers are available to prevent the root penetration of lower layers. These are known as separation fabrics or geotextiles.

  • This is commonly followed by a separate water-retaining layer, which could be a natural porous stone material or an artificial retention mat; in short, this is a drainage layer.

  • On top of this layer, a filter fabric separates the retention layer from the next layer: the growing media.

  • The growing media is, in most cases, a specially mixed lightweight soil material with...

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Many thanks to Marco Schmidt for his ongoing support and as a joint researcher in much of the work Manfred has done over the years.


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Books and Reviews

  1. Dunnet N, Kingsbury N (2008) Planting green roofs and living walls, 2nd edn. Timber, PortlandGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied SciencesNeubrandenburgGermany
  2. 2.Green Roof GreeceAthensGreece