Should I Install a Sedum Roof on my Garden Building?

A growing trend in today’s eco-conscious world is the ‘living’ or ‘green’ roof. Often created from sedum, a fleshy-leaved miniature ornamental plant with charming star-shaped flowers, a living roof offers a number of benefits. If you are thinking about adding a sedum roof to your garden building, read on to learn more about how it could benefit you, and the environment.

Sedum roof

What is a green roof?

A green roof is one that is made up of any type of vegetation, often sedum, a drought resistant plant. Laid over a waterproof layer and a thin layer of soil, a green roof not only looks good, especially on a garden building, it also presents an array of benefits.

Here are some of the top reasons why a sedum green roof makes an excellent choice for any type of garden building.

Supports insects and pollinators

A sedum roof can be considered a stepping stone for wildlife and can serve a variety of flora and fauna. One of the best things about a sedum green roof is that it supports the pollinator population by providing an abundance of flowers. This is particularly useful in an urban environment where there is little greenery. As well as helping pollinators, a green roof can also support the likes of butterflies and birds.

Sedum roof

Improves air quality

Sedum has the ability to capture airborne pollutants and carbon dioxide, improving overall air quality. Green roofs can help reduce up to 37 per cent of sulphur dioxide, 21 per cent of nitrous acid, and 0.2Kg of dust particles per square metre per year.

Retains rainfall

During the summer months, sedum green roofs can retain 70 to 80 per cent of rainfall. Even in the winter, they can retain 25 to 40 per cent. This is because the plants store rainwater and evaporate it into the atmosphere. The benefit here is that water run-off is reduced, which lowers the risk of flooding.

Conserves energy by improving thermal performance

A sedum roof mat has the ability to reduce heat loss through the roof. This is beneficial for garden buildings in that the room is kept warm year-round, even during the coldest months of winter. Green roofs don’t just act as an insulation barrier, they can also extend the lifespan of a roof by absorbing UV light which would otherwise damage the structure.

A sedum roof looks beautiful!

A green roof really does look naturally appealing. Sedum looks beautiful from the moment it starts to grow and continues to look fresh and vibrant all year long, even during the winter. A plant-covered rooftop allows a garden building to blend in with its surroundings too.

What to consider when installing a sedum roof?

It is of course always wise to look at any potential downsides when considering installing a sedum roof on your garden building.

Firstly, this type of roof will cost more than a traditional roof. This is mostly down to the extra support required to handle the increased load. However, once the initial outlay is out of the way, the benefits of the sedum roof over time can outweigh the downside of any additional costs.

It is important to think about the weight load associated with a green sedum roof. You will need additional structural support, because a green roof tends to add in the region of 50 and 200Kg per metre squared to an existing roof. Most flat roofs will be able to handle this capacity, however. But if you are planning on adding a sedum roof to your garden building, do let your supplier know right at the start so that they can accommodate any requirement for extra loading.

Finally, a sedum roof will generally require more maintenance than a traditional roof. It will need watering during dry weather, as well as feeding and weeding, so this is something to bear in mind.

All in all, however, a sedum green roof can be a very beneficial addition to a garden building, and is well worth considering.

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