September 2010

Testing vegetative roof systems

Testing vegetative roof systems not ratednot ratednot ratednot ratednot rated

Results show potential problems with wind

by Mark S. Graham
Be the first to comment

Vegetative roof systems, sometimes referred to as "green roofs," are rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance in the U.S. For many, the appeal of vegetative roof systems involves their aesthetics and environmental attributes, including reduced storm water runoff, air-quality improvement, mitigation of heat island effects and noise reduction for building occupants.

However, vegetative roof systems' compliance with U.S. building codes is questionable. Although vegetative roof systems' waterproofing components can be tested and evaluated for code compliance bythe same means used for conventional roof systems, vegetative roof systems' growth media and plants largely have been untested for the purposes of code compliance.

Because growth media and plants serve as the topmost surface of most vegetative roof systems, these components are an important consideration in determining vegetative roof systems' wind resistances.

For example, the 2006, 2009 and upcoming 2012 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) restrict the use of aggregate surfacing on roof systems based on maximum building height, basic wind speed and exposure category for the building being evaluated. This restriction is based on the concern that aggregate could scour and become wind-borne debris during high-wind events. For additional information regarding IBC's restrictions on the use of rooftop aggregate, see "What will happen to aggregate?" August...

Web exclusive: Click below for more information.
A copy of SIUE's full report

Additional information about SIUE's vegetative roof research

Additional Professional Roofing articles about vegetative roof systems

The NRCA Vegetative Roof Systems Manual, Second Edition

To read the article in its entirety, please log in or register (registration is free).

Log in or register for FREE access to this article and other Professional Roofing online content.

Not a user?

Register now for free access
  • Full access to every article
  • Online Web exclusive information
  • Photo gallery
  • Breaking news
  • Online classified ads

Already a user?

Log in now

User name:



Login help
Click here to have your user name and password emailed to you.

Comments (0) Login to post a comment or rating
There are no comments posted.