Meeting Technical Requirements with Green Roof Soil

Posted in Blog, Technical Requirements on September 22, 2022

Green roofs are exciting. They can transform a roof, a building, or a neighborhood. But the thrill of designing an amazing green roof is often balanced out by the challenge of meeting the technical requirements. 

It’s tricky to get all the pieces right. The green roof and planter soil you choose are critical to meet the technical requirements of your project.

So let’s start with the basics. You need to pick the right soil for your green roof project. Sounds simple enough, right?

Maybe. Soil is one part of a complex construction project. The intricacies of green roof projects mean that the soil you choose has to work with everything happening on the roof. 

You need to consider five technical and site requirements when you select green roof soil:

  • The product or system
  • The product weight
  • The correct volume
  • Logistics planning
  • The right shipping method

Each step is important to determining which soil will meet all your technical requirements. 

At rooflite, we offer 10 soil systems, made up of 7 products, and we use this process to determine which product will work for your design and roof. Now, let’s go through each step.

The product or system 

Your soil has to work with everything you have planned for your green roof. For example, what else you’ve specified for the project, what plants will be included, and the depth needed. 

The product weight

Several factors determine the correct product weight.

First, the structural weight capacity of the roof. Then, the weight of the whole roof assembly, including plants, drainage materials, and rain and snow loads. These determine which product weight you need.

At rooflite, all our products are lightweight, and we offer up to six different weights, depending on the specific product and region. 

The correct volume

The volume you need is largely determined by your plants and design, but you need to remember soil compaction. 

Soil will experience compaction during transportation, installation, and when it’s exposed to the elements. If you don’t plan for expected compaction when you order soil, you could be left without enough. 

We offer a calculator on our web site that helps you compensate for compaction, and we always double-check volume before orders are placed.

Logistics planning

You may or may not be directly involved in logistics, but it can affect the timing and overall efficiency of your installation.

Some examples of logistics details that can affect soil for your green roof. How are you getting the soil to the roof? Can you unload soil at the site? What kind of delivery can your equipment handle? 

These project-specific logistics are key to having seamless and efficient soil delivery, and we will work through each part with you.

The right shipping method

Our focus is to meet your project and timeline goals, and the right shipping method, which takes into account all the logistics, help us to do that. 

At rooflite, we offer three methods for shipping – bulk, super sacks, and cubic foot bags. 

Based on the details we know about your project site and timeline, we make sure the method we use will meet your project, budget, and site requirements.

We will work through each of these steps with you to select the right green roof soil for your project to set you up for success.