Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Green Roofs for Florida - Secrets of Cost Effective Green Roof Systems

Many Green Roof Systems have a reputation for being expensive but I am going to begin a series of blog posts on how you can achieve the most cost-effective green roof system possible.

That is for Florida and the Southeastern U.S.

MetroVerde is creating a new business paradigm based upon the areas of expertise we've felt most comfortable with - those of green roofing soils and green roof plants - for Florida.

We have worked with many systems in the past and want to take the opportunity to share our knowledge base of years of trial and error field work.

MetroVerde is not a roofing company - we have always worked with licensed roofers for the installs.

We are green roofing plant and soil experts.  Our educational background lies in botany and environmental law - especially natives and those plants meant for green roofs in Florida.

Rather than focus on green roof mechanical systems - there are lots and lots of good green roof systems - both mat based and tray based - and many more come on the market each month, we want to focus on those Green Roof components we understand best.

Honestly, with the right soil and right plants, most any green roof system will function successfully - if you follow some required fundamental principles.

In our opinion, the skeletal mat or tray based system is a component of the roof and an important one.  You certainly want a system that has been wind tested for tropical storm resistance.

Yet equally important are the soil material and the plants.

As we see green roofs planted, go through the blissful period of newly planted beauty, then experience acclimation issues - especially diseases, drought, wind and other issues - the variables that are the most unpredictable are plant centered.

Participating in a Green Roof charrette the other day, one of the lead mechanical members asked - 'What are we going to do if weeds pop up in the pretty plantings?'   In reality, it is when and not if.  Designing with the appropriate - preferably natives - is important - especially here in Florida.

So if you are interested in our reviews of the many types of systems we've worked with over the years and how to make these seemingly terribly expensive products much more cost-effective then you will want to stay tuned.  I'm going to share all I have - photos included.

My intended purpose is to make the Florida Green Roof Industry more successful.  Information is crucial.  Sharing experiences is all important.  I invite you to share your comments here also.  Check back tomorrow for the first of the upcoming blogs - what types of mats (and where can I buy them) make the best mat based green roof.

Happy Green Roofing!  Kevin 

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