Building DIY Gardening


17 Apr, 2009

Build your own DIY home made green roof

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: DIY tips|Green roof

Sedum green roof with flowering wild plants

Sedum green roof with flowering wild plants

Green roofs can be expensive. They usually require professional fitting. People wonder if they can ‘make their own‘. Why not?

Main challenges are:

  • Weight
  • Type of plants
  • Maintenance


Big issue as soil, water (wet soil), and geotextiles and substrate all add up to a high weight per square area – then multiply that out for the roof and you can easily add 100s of kilos to the roof. The roof, unless new, was not built for that and all sorts of problems can follow, including roof collapse and death!

Can be acute if on higher roof, or in earthquake zone (not UK but a lot of other places).

Get an engineer to check weight loading. Don’t guess as this can be fatal, same as all structural concerns.


Sedum is a good choice, can be seeded with flowers etc. Choosing wrong plants – such as tulips – can cause disappointment when they die or get patchy.

Check with a horticulturist or do some serious research.


Home made beds may cause clogging in drains and gullies, which a pro substrate system will not. This might seem a minor issue – as you can just take more care of it – but if you forget or go on holiday, the roof might collapse. Not something you want to come home to!

That is why proper substrate materials for drainage are vital.

For a good website on home made green roofs, have  a look at

Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Roof Project

1 Response to "Build your own DIY home made green roof"

1 | Mary.M.Allen

March 30th, 2011 at 2:51 pm


I keep listening to the news bulletin lecture about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

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