Knowledgebase: Planning and Construction
Green Roofs - Sedums for Garden Buildings
Posted by Karen Oakes on 29 August 2013 02:15 PM
Everybody these days is concerned about our environment and the impact our actions have on it. We have been actively involved in various environmentally sound projects over the years, with our last one being a Mega Beehive sponsored by the Government; this will be the subject of a later article. Due to our connections and concerns, we have looked into the impact of our environment surrounding our specialist field of garden buildings.|
When any form of building work takes place the environment that was there is substantially destroyed, losing valuable supplies for birds, insect life and many other small creatures as well as losing the benefit of CO2 depleting organic plants.
There are numerous building projects across the world that addresses this issue with the provision of an organic roofing material. We are now introducing this into our range of garden buildings. Admittedly, on our range of sheds this possibly does not have a great impact on what was destroyed and subsequently replaced as regards the environment, but when it comes to our larger timber garages or our log cabins this can help greatly.
We are using plants from the Crassulaceau family of plants called sedums. These are grown on matting that contains the plants and incorporates a live time of substance to grow from. This matting can then be incorporated into our sheds, summerhouses or log cabins - in fact any garden building.
The matting in effect produces a living carpet and is a very low maintenance product when compared to other shed roofing materials. The plants are matured for about 18 months before the matting is used to give a strong and versatile material. It includes a varied mixture of flowering sedums and looks attractive on your shed or log cabin all year round; it never needs mowing or dead heading and of course attracts a variety of wildlife.
Sedum is from a Latin word “Sedo” which means to sit and probably refers to the fact that these plants sit on walls, ledges and any areas with poor soil and little moisture, ideally suited for our sheds. There are about 400 varieties which vary in height and colour and they all flower at different points across the season giving your log cabin a stunning finish. Sedums are very tolerant of drought conditions although they are not drought proof, they do need some moisture. They love sunshine like many other plants and thrive in full sunlight, again these are ideally suited to garden buildings or other building projects.
We have a number of options if you are considering using this roofing material. Due to the increased weight, it is necessary to have a building that can withstand the added load. We can manufacture to virtually any design of shed or summerhouse and build the roof strong enough to accept the matting, it is only usually necessary to incorporate additional trusses and we use 19mm T&G boarding instead of the standard 12mm. For our log cabin ranges we provide additional trusses within the roof, due to the standard board thickness of our log cabin roofs it is not necessary to increase this as they are designed to accept tiles rather than standard felt and are also able to accept insulation materials. We are also putting together a kit for customers who would like to retro-fit the roofing system to allow them to strengthen the roof enough to accept it.
Installation onto a shed roof is relatively straight forward, the garden building is first felted with a good quality heavy duty felt, a layer of plastic is then applied preventing the sedums from growing into the felt. Absorbent matting is placed over the plastic to hold water for the plants and then the plant matting is fixed to that, giving the final roof covering. At the edge of the roof we use pre-drilled metal strips to contain the matting to prevent slippage and allow for drainage, we then finish with wooden bargeboards. The following months and years will see the plants growing over the side of these boards and it really does look stunning when in flower.
If you would like further details or advice on this stunning roofing system for your shed, log cabin or summerhouse we would be pleased to hear from you you may also like to view our dedicated page on green roofing systems for our sheds and garden buildings.