Maintenance Worker on Green Roof in Fall 1

Covid-19 Pushes Construction Deadlines

In early Spring, Covid-19 uncertainty and jobsite safety precautions wreaked havoc on tight construction timelines and Gantt charts across the United States.  For many, deadlines were pushed back.  The anticipated late spring plantings turned into early fall installations.  Ultimately, the Covid delay brings welcome benefits as autumn is an ideal season for plant installation.

Finally Complete with Lush Green Roof

As a stormwater management tool, green roofs are one of the first systems calculated at the design stage by civil engineers.  After years of planning and construction, they are one of the last building features completed.  Now, finally, lush, living green roofs top the finished buildings helping manage stormwater as well as provide other benefits.  To the relief of all involved – designer, supplier, installation contractor and building owner – the planting of a green roof marks the final chapters to construction.

Benefits of Autumn or Winter Install

What some don’t know, is that green roofs installed in autumn or mild winter can benefit from the seasonal timing. Like perennial plants on the ground, all green roofs experience cycles of growth, flowering, and dormancy. During the summer, the plants would be spending their energy flowering.  In autumn, the sedum plants begin their process of dormancy and energy conservation. To ensure their long-term survival they take advantage of the cooler moist temperatures and divert energy to establish roots in their new home on the rooftop.

Tips for winter survival and long term performance

  • Pre-cultivated mats should have a minimum of 80 per cent coverage upon installation to reduce the possibility of erosion of growing media
  • Ensure vegetation is established upon installation; avoid cuttings
  • Use sedum mats pre-grown outdoors in similar climate as they will acclimatize best
  • Diverse species and sedum selection will ensure probability of long term survival
  • Keep the green roof hydrated in the autumn months
  • Avoid foot traffic over frost-covered plants

Close up of drain surround by paver on green roof

Next, Maintenance Planning

Now it’s time to change gears from loading, grading, and planting to long term planning.  A maintenance plan is required to keep this rooftop stormwater management tool performing. As with all building systems, nothing is truly maintenance-free. Every component requires periodic maintenance to perform according to the requirements set out during design.

Routine maintenance needs to start near the inception of the project and be carried through to building handover and beyond. A maintenance checklist will include drain inspection and more.  Read this blog on fall maintenance.

Ready to Start Your Next Green Roof Design? Contact us!

With proper planning any rooftop –  industrial, commercial or residential – can be transformed into a useful, green space. Stormwater Capture Co is a one-stop-shop for green roof systems and technical support.  We supply a range of  systems from lightweight and biodiverse, to detention green roofs.  We have custom green roofs that meet specific stormwater management and biodiversity goals. Contact us to transform your roof. Email or call (855) 786-7626 for stormwater calculations specific to your project.

Urbanscape Detention logo by Knauf InsulationPurple-Roof PartnerThe image conveys this system is powered by the Purple-Roof concept.

As a Purple-Roof partner, Stormwater Capture Co has access to the latest green roof stormwater test data and related innovative hydrologic modeling tool.