Even with the costs, the benefits of green roofs can be many including financial.
|Florida dead living roof, value engineering results|
Importantly, cutting corners on a green roof system can result in serious performance issues. The photos here are of a Florida living roof (dead now as of last week) where the client chose a landscaper who had never worked on a Florida green roof before to install plants.
|Dead roofs can prevent fire hazards and tort liability issues|
Unfortunately, the lowest initial cost does not mean guaranteed performance.
Moreover, lowest costs can sometimes result in highest costs over time. Especially when the original installer does not remedy the dead plants.
The roof shown here has multiple problems. In the present condition the dried, dead plants are a fire hazard. One little spark from a cigar below, carried up on a wind current could result in serious roof or building damage.
|Using a landscape company who does not have roofing insurance can result in liability if a worker falls|
With all the weed seed accumulated on the roof, any dormant desirable rootstock will be overwhelmed and shaded out by the noxious plant growth.
|THe wild weed seed source has coasted the roof and will choke out any remaining good rootstock|
The cost to remove the unsatisfactory material will be much higher than the installation cost of the wrong plant types.
Finally, the client is lucky the landscaper did not have a staff member fall from the roof. Most ground level landscape contractors are not ensured for working on roofs. Always check not only for adequate insurance but for applicable state licenses. In Florida, roof work should include a licensed roofer.
Value engineering sometimes has a way of biting back. Of course, this roof is in litigation now. Ultimately though, it will end up costing the client much more than the highest original bid.
For green roofs, doing it right the first time is important for long term success, regardless of costs.