Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Green Roof Infrastructures in Urban Areas

  • Manfred Köhler
  • Andrew Michael Clements
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_209

Definition of the Subject and Its Importance


Green roofs are engineered constructions that include environments suitable for well-adapted plant species. In most cases, these types of roofing have a longer life span than conventional roofing surfaces. The following elements are built on top of the roof structure (from the bottom to the top, see Fig. 1):
  • 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...

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Thanks to Olyssa Sterry, MSU, USA, for proof reading the first draft of this paper. Thanks also go to an endless number of friends and colleagues whose contribution to this paper is much appreciated.


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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