How they are performed correctly and what are their advantages

Not only do they contribute to increased aesthetics, but green roofs also have an impact on air quality, noise suppression, heat regulation, rainwater storage…

The trend of greening roof surfaces is more and more present in our area, and about everyone benefitima these types of urban gardens, as well as the biggest challenges on their design and realization, we talked to Hansom Busterom, director and owner of the company Green Life, which deals with the design and construction of innovative solutions for interiors as well as creative projects of landscape architecture.

Buster is originally from the Netherlands, has lived in the Balkans for the last two decades and, as he admitted to us, Belgrade is one of the few places in which he feels at home. He entered entrepreneurial waters almost fifteen years ago when the company was Vita Verde conceived in Greece.

By profession, an organizational psychologist, and in his spare time, a lover of nature, sustainable design and plants, our interlocutor states that he realized that he can combine his qualities, hobby and profession into something he will bring positive effect on people and our environment through urban landscaping activities.

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Green roofs reduce the heat of the air through the process of evapotranspiration; photo: Pixabay.com

Roof gardens bring benefits from the economic aspect, both in terms of energy efficiency and in increasing the value and attractiveness of the building itself.

According to him, Vita Verde has realized it so far hundreds of green projects in the region.

“Specifically, we have been designing and constructing green roofs since 2018 in Serbia, and in Greece since 2010. For now, we have realized five major projects in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as dozens of smaller projects for private facilities, ”says Buster.

As for larger projects, he and his company are most proud of the roof gardens Ada Mall in Belgrade, both because of the demanding technical endeavors and because of the creation modern urban oases which contributes to the attractiveness and quality of the facility.

Roof gardens in the mall; photo: Ada Mall

Positive impact on microclimate and biodiversity

In addition to the fact that roof gardens contribute to increased aesthetics, they also have numerous advantages: impact on air quality, noise suppression, heat regulation, rainwater storage and positive impact on biodiversity and mental state of people. Also, according to our interlocutor, roof gardens bring benefits and from an economic point of view, as in terms of energy efficiency, ie. resource savings as well as increase values ​​and attractiveness the object itself.

“Green roofs reduce the heat of the air through the process of evapotranspiration, and they also act as building insulators, reducing the energy needed for cooling and heating, ”notes Buster.

He adds that storing rainwater is another important factor in energy efficiency, because it enables it rainwater recycling and its reuse. In addition, the introduction of new green spaces in urban areas has a positive impact microclimate and biodiversity and contribute to the survival of the necessary ecosystem.

All green roofs consist of a layer of drainage, substrate and vegetation; photo: Unsplash.com

Drainage, substrate and vegetation

There are several types of roof greenery, but when it comes to roof gardens, Buster says that we usually divide them into extensive and intensive. The main difference is in the thickness of the substrate layers and the choice of greenery. In essence, according to our interlocutor, all green roofs consist of a layer of drainage, substrate and vegetation.

In extensive roofs, the substrate layer can be thickness of 7 to 15 cm, and the choice of plants is reduced to sedum and meadow plants.

“These plant species do not require much water, and therefore not active maintenance. They are an ideal choice for steep roof surfaces because, with the appropriate technical solutions, they can also be installed on slopes up to 45˚. These are mostly impenetrable trusses“, States our interlocutor.

As for intensive roofs, he adds, substrate layer thickness is limited only by how much load-bearing capacity the roof can withstand. This type of green roof offers many more options in choosing plants and even allows planting trees.

“They exist countless design options such roof gardens and can be envisaged as an integral part of the zones for active use “, points out Buster.

Garden plants are also selected in accordance with the climate; photo: Pixabay

The choice and design of the watering system depends on the choice of plants, as well as the technical limitations and conditions of the architecture itself.

When it comes to garden maintenance, it depends on the species green roof, our interlocutor notes.

“Extensive roofs are needed in the winter drain the irrigation system, if there is one, so that the pipes do not freeze, and for intensive roofs there is also regular maintenance of plants (pruning, protection, fertilization). As I mentioned, plants are also selected in accordance with the climate to prevent or reduce damage to plants during cold winters, ”says Buster.

For intensive roofs, he adds, a watering system is necessary, while it is not extensive, they are not found in zones of severe droughts. The choice and design of the watering system depends on the choice of plants, as well as the technical limitations and conditions of the architecture itself.

“The most important thing is that the roof garden functions well and lasts for years initially select adequate plant species for given climatic and urban conditions. At the micro level, the orientation and sun exposure of individual segments of the roof garden is important, but it should always be borne in mind that this is the most exposed surface and approach it adequately. Appropriate professional maintenance is also required depending on the type of roof garden, ”notes Buster.

The choice of type of green roof dictates the budget; photo: Pixabay.com

Not for artificial greenery

Choice of type of green roof dictates the budget, where extensive roofs are more favorable during construction as well as in the long run for maintenance. Intensive roofs are far more complex, have drastically larger amounts of substrate and larger, more mature and therefore more expensive plants. Their level of maintenance is more demanding, which affects the overall annual budget.

Except they’re not not nearly attractive as natural roof gardens, artificial greenery does not contribute to energy efficiency and does not have all the above benefits that roof gardens provide.

“I think we can work together help improve the quality of life in urban areas, green roofs are certainly one of the great ways to succeed, ”says Buster.

Green roof on the Sirius business building in Belgrade, photo: Vita Verde

Green gardens as a potential for bringing and retaining customers

In terms of design, the last interesting project, with a combination of intensive and extensive roofs that he and his colleagues worked on is Marriott Hotel in Kotor, in collaboration with BusinessArt studio. Buster adds that an interesting challenge was to, with the help of design, help the hotel to be in a natural way visually fit into the coastal environment, taking into account the local climate and vegetation.

“We performed a classic example of an extensive green roof on the tops of technical rooms within the piazza on Sirius business facility in Belgrade, and the piazzetta and the park are in themselves a green roof because they are located above the underground parking floor and contain all the layers of the roof garden ”,

“The project we are currently working on and which we are especially proud of is the execution two intensive roof gardens on the terraces of the Belgrade woman’s building in cooperation with Marera Properties. “We have accepted the unique challenge of designing a rich green roof on an older building with complicated statics and weight limitations that can withstand it, which will beautify this landmark of the city,” Buster points out.

Roof garden in Halkidiki; Photo: Vita Verde

People lack contact with nature and will always stay where they have the opportunity to be surrounded by greenery.

When asked if there is a greater presence of plants in architecture the future of green building, our interlocutor readily answers:

“Safe! Roof gardens are not a novelty, but the systems that are used today and that they have positive impact on the urban environment they are and can only progress even further. Experts working on modern commercial facilities are aware that greenery and roof gardens are not just an imposed percentage of greenery which they must fulfill, but also the potential to bring and retain customers. “People lack contact with nature and will always stay where they have the opportunity to be surrounded by greenery and the atmosphere it creates,” says the founder and director of Vita Verde.

As Buster states at the end, as the project coordinator Green cities of Serbia, under the auspices of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgrade, is especially proud to be in charge of bringing more a number of professional and innovative solutions in the field of green green roofs and urban green solutions in general in order to contribute to the improvement of our environment.

Green life tim; photo: Green Life

When you are already there…


Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.

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