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Extensive Green Roof Irrigation

“Living Roofs can deliver benefits throughout the city for individuals and for society as a whole, by creating new outdoor spaces and enhancing biodiversity. They can also help us adapt to the challenge of climate change by reducing flood risk (through absorbing heavy rainfall) and providing cooling”
Mayor of London’s website

Green roof systems provide many benefits, but with their exposed position and shallow root zones, it is vital that they are well irrigated.

Access have been supplying green roof irrigation solutions for over 20 years, and have considerable expertise in the design and supply of extensive green roof watering systems.

Extensive green roofs have surged in popularity over recent years and, although the plants selected for green roofs are typically drought tolerant, some form of drip irrigation is still necessary. Without irrigation the carefully selected biodiversity of the original planting will give way to a monoculture as the hardiest species take over. Occasional feeding is normally also recommended. This can easily be performed using your irrigation system.

For extensive green roofs, Access lay high quality commercial grade drip irrigation line  beneath the sedum or meadow grass mats. This is connected to the water supply via a break tank to comply with the water regulations. You can either control your irrigation manually, or use an automated controller.

Green Roof Irrigation Control

Sedum-type roofs often only need to be watered during very dry weather, which is beyond the capabilities of most irrigation controllers. To solve this problem, Access have developed the ‘DroughtGuard‘ controller, which is designed to supply water only when there has been a prolonged period without rainfall.

DroughtGuard’ allows you to select trigger points for maximum flexibility. For example, you can set the irrigation system to operate only when rainfall is less than a certain amount. This ensures that water is not wasted, and that your green roof plants receive consistent irrigation, regardless of weather.

Irrigation System Design

Access Irrigation can design a drip irrigation system for an extensive green roof from architects or contractors plans. As well as the roof areas and pitch details we will also require substrate type and depth; and a location for the pump and control system. Drip irrigation pipes are normally installed by either the roofing contractor or the green roof supplier, while Access Irrigation are able to install the pump and control equipment if required.