Green Rooftops - Create a Living Oasis in The Sky
Read Video Transcript and Main Points Addressed Below
Okay, so we spent some time talking about rooftop installations and we want to review one really kind of unique type of rooftop installation that for me, I’m just fascinated by and I know that there is an enormous market for it. I know in Europe for example, the market for green roofs is just exploding. And so we just did a project about a year ago and it really started with … We were playing with can we grow grass on our panels? Will it work? And so we basically went out in the back of our R&D shop and we went outside here in Florida, and we basically grew grass on top of panels.
How Hector Used UltraBaseSystems as The Base System In His Green Roof Project
And what our customer did, this is one of our good friends, Hector, who is based out in Mexico and Mexico City. He took that idea and really ran with it, and what he did, they went to a rooftop area. And I’m thinking the area’s about maybe 5 to 7,000 square feet, and they used an impermeable, meaning that water can’t run through the membrane on the roof. Follow me here…
And then they used, in this case, the Professional panel. They could have very easily been the Champion panel, but Hector chose the Professional panel. So we have a roof layer, with an impermeable stabilized liner and then they put the panel, and then what they did, they put a layer of another permeable fabric on top. And that permeable fabric on top was selected to allow the proper amount of water to flow through it because above it, ultimately, on that fabric, on top of the panel, they put dirt and then grass and then plants. So they had to find a fabric that would allow the water to run through at the proper rate. So some plants as we know, require more water than the others. So that was a little bit of some horticulture involved in this thing. But they had to figure how, what the best fabric on top would be.
How to Deal With the Irrigation
But what they did is they used this structural integrity of this panel, they used the vertical drainage, the horizontal flow rate and the storage capacity and they used this as the base system to create a live roof. Now in some cases, they put the fabric down and they poured stone on top of it and it became walkways. Some cases, they put brick. Some cases, they even put some synthetic grass. But what they did is they utilized this system to actually grow live plants, and the cool part about it was is that when they water this every day, once or twice a week, when they irrigated it, the water could run through the panel, down to that lower roof level. Remember the impermeable liner was and it would be pitched back into a retention area, a storage tank if you will, and then could be used again the following time for irrigation. So it was a system that they not only could collect rainwater, and begin to create irrigation. But they could utilize the water over and over again, and only thing that’s being used is what evaporated and what was being held by the plants.
So if you would have told me years ago that when I was sitting in my old shop and trying to figure out how to build a putting green for a guy’s basement, that we would actually be growing plants and trees on a rooftop, I probably would have told you, you were nuts. But it is something that I think is extremely exciting. We’ve not done a lot of it yet, it worked beautifully, the photographs that you’re seeing are evidence of what it can do, and we’re happy to talk to you more about this. And our goal is that this really becomes something that is not only big in the United States, but grows for us internationally, but we’ve not seen a lot of this happen in the United States yet, and a great opportunity for all of us to do something different.