Essential Green Roof Construction
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Simple green roof design and installation for the do-it-yourself builder

  • This is THE reader's guide to building a green roof
  • First new book with complete information on green roofs published in the last ten years
  • Focusses on small do-it-yourself projects, drawing on information from published research and references, as well as the author's own experience in the industry
  • Includes a brief introduction to green roofs and the benefits they produce
  • Walks the reader through design considerations such as the size of roof, weight loads, drainage, building use, and plant choices
  • Covers maintenance and long-term care; and includes a list of suppliers and resources
  • Readers will gain a practical understanding of the best types of plants for green roofs and characteristics to look for when choosing plants for their region
  • Callouts in the book will reference any existing bylaws and direct readers to websites for further information
  • A small section will be devoted to food production. This is a rapidly growing area of interest for those keen on building green roofs, one that the competition neglects
  • Up to date, state of the art construction technologie
  • Doyle has owned Restoration Gardens Inc. since 2009, installing over 30 green roofs for both residential and commercial clients
  • Doyle's firm was also chosen to install a 30,000 square-foot green roof for a new YMCA in downtown Toronto
  • Author is an accredited Green Roof Professional by the Industry Association, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities since 2010
  • It is the next book in the Sustainable Building Essentials series
  • Author has a degree in Ecological Restoration from Trent University and a Certificate in Sustainable Building Design and Construction from Fleming College
  • Differs from the competition
    • It includes more examples and technical information than other books
    • Includes information on how to retrofit for a green roof
  • It is geared toward the DIY homeowner while the competition is geared toward professionals with the majority of reference projects being large-scale commercial buildings
  • It includes information on growing food, which the competition neglects


  • Ecologically minded DIY homeowners, those interested in green and natural building

Washington, New York, Chicago all have large green roof industries
Waitsfield, VT has a large natural building school
States with current green roof incentives:

  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin


  • Toronto, Ontario - author is from here and Toronto was the first city to introduce a green roof by-law
  • Peterborough, Ontario as there are a lot of DIY builders and natural builders in this area and the author attended University in this city.
  • Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario – family is from this region and there are some natural builders in this area.
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario or remote areas - access to commercially available green roof products is limited
  • Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia – British Columbia School of Technology in Burnaby teaches about green roofs.
  • Yukon – limited access to commercial green roof materials
  • Montreal, QC - has a growing number of food production rooftops.

Simple green roof design and installation for the do-it-yourself builder

Essential Green Roof Construction is a comprehensive, in-depth guide to building simple green roofs for houses and small buildings.

Packed with detailed photos, illustrations, case studies, and code compliance advice, it offers clear step-by-step instructions necessary to create your own living roof on a new build or as a retrofit. Coverage includes:

  • The benefits of a green roof
  • The basics of planning and design
  • Assessing site conditions such as aspect, slope, and loads
  • Navigating building codes and working with building officials
  • Material options, including professional grade and economical or local alternatives
  • Planting suggestions for different roof climates and conditions, including food production
  • When to call on professionals to ensure safety and integrity
  • Step-by-step guidance for safe roof installation and detailing
  • Annual green roof maintenance.

Where common sense meets beauty — a green roof is a system of layers that work together to support plant life, insulate homes, and make the world a greener place.

Essential Green Roof Construction will give you the knowledge and confidence to install your own green roof.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Green Roofs
Chapter 2: Green Roof Layers and Roofing Terminology
Chapter 3: Before You Start
Chapter 4: Roof Access and Safety
Chapter 5: Site and Design Factors
Chapter 6: Plants
Chapter 7: Green Roof Material Options
Chapter 8: Rural New Build
Chapter 9: Urban Retrofit Build
Chapter 10: Maintenance
Chapter 11: Food Production Roofs

Appendix A: North American Cities with Green Roof Programs



Publié par
Date de parution 09 novembre 2021
Nombre de lectures 5
EAN13 9781771423069
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 9 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Praise for Essential Green Roof Construction
In this impressive book, Leslie Doyle shares her wealth of experience and knowledge installing and maintaining green roofs. The writing is detailed and comprehensive and, importantly, easy for the average person to understand. Filled with photos, real-life case studies, and practical guidance, Essential Green Roof Construction left me with the confidence to get started with a green roof. I have some clear steps and ideas to move forward and feel like I know the right questions to ask.
-Stephen Hill, associate professor, School of the Environment, Trent University
For a thorough understanding of what constitutes a modern green or living roof, this essential guide will provide all you need to know to install and maintain a beautiful and ecological compliment to your home or office. The details are clearly described and illustrated and safety and durability are emphasized throughout, while specific engineering analysis is left for professionals on a case by case basis.
-Kelly Hart, , author Essential Earthbag Construction
Required reading for anyone building a green roof. I wish I d had it before building my two green roofs (the first one in 1960). It begins with cautions about leaks and total weight, then lays out the many aspects of what is actually a complex process. It s well-written, well-researched, and full of clear and informative drawings and photos.
-Lloyd Kahn, editor-in-chief, Shelter Publications, author, Shelter and The Half-Acre Homestead
I can t begin to count the number of clients I ve had who are interested in incorporating a green roof into their project. Now, thanks to Leslie we have an excellent resource for both DIY and design professionals.
-Tim Krahn, P. Eng. Building Alternatives Inc., author, Essential Rammed Earth Construction
Leslie Doyle has brought the art and science of green roof construction to the masses. Abundantly approachable, yet thorough and exceptionally detailed, this is a go-to resource for anyone with an interest in building their own green roof. This book is yet another excellent addition to this series - and to my library!
-Chris Phillips, Greening Homes Ltd.
the complete step-by-step guide
Leslie Doyle
Copyright 2022 by Leslie Doyle.
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh.
Cover images supplied by Restorations Garden, Inc. and iStock
Printed in Canada. First printing September, 2021.
This book is intended to be educational and informative. It is not intended to serve as a guide. The author and publisher disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk that may be associated with the application of any of the contents of this book.
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part of Essential Green Roof Construction should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below. To order directly from the publishers, please call toll-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online at
Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to:
New Society Publishers
P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada
(250) 247- 9737
Title: Essential green roof construction : the complete step-by-step guide / Leslie Doyle.
Names: Doyle, Leslie, author.
Series: Sustainable building essentials.
Description: Series statement: Sustainable building essentials | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20210270233 | Canadiana (ebook) 20210270284 | ISBN 9780865719156 (softcover) | ISBN 9781550927108 ( PDF ) | ISBN 9781771423069 ( EPUB )
Subjects: LCSH : Green roofs (Gardening)-Design and construction.
Classification: LCC SB 419.5 .D69 2021 | DDC 635.9/671-dc23
New Society Publishers mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision.
New Society Sustainable Building Essentials Series

Series editors
Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin
Title list
Essential Hempcrete Construction , Chris Magwood
Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction , Chris Magwood
Essential Building Science , Jacob Deva Racusin
Essential Light Straw Clay Construction , Lydia Doleman
Essential Sustainable Home Design , Chris Magwood
Essential Cordwood Building , Rob Roy
Essential Earthbag Construction , Kelly Hart
Essential Natural Plasters, Michael Henry Tina Therrien
Essential Composting Toilets, Gord Baird Ann Baird
Essential Green Roof Construction , Leslie Doyle
See for a complete list of new and forthcoming series titles.
THE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING ESSENTIALS SERIES covers the full range of natural and green building techniques with a focus on sustainable materials and methods and code compliance. Firmly rooted in sound building science and drawing on decades of experience, these large-format, highly illustrated manuals deliver comprehensive, practical guidance from leading experts using a well-organized step-by-step approach. Whether your interest is foundations, walls, insulation, mechanical systems, or final finishes, these unique books present the essential information on each topic including: Material specifications, testing, and building code references Plan drawings for all common applications Tool lists and complete installation instructions Finishing, maintenance, and renovation techniques Budgeting and labor estimates Additional resources
Written by the world s leading sustainable builders, designers, and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information is key to success. GET THE ESSENTIALS!
C HAPTER 1: Introduction to Green Roofs
C HAPTER 2: Green Roof Layers and Roofing Terminology
C HAPTER 3: Before You Start
C HAPTER 4: Roof Access and Safety
C HAPTER 5: Site and Design Factors
C HAPTER 6: Plants
C HAPTER 7: Green Roof Material Options
C HAPTER 8: A Rural New Build
C HAPTER 9: An Urban Retrofit Build
C HAPTER 10: Maintenance
C HAPTER 11: Food Production Roofs
A PPENDIX A: A List of Common Standards and Guidelines
A PPENDIX B: North American Cities with Green Roof Programs
A PPENDIX C: Relevant Climate Links
TO MY MOM AND DAD : your words and lessons will never be forgotten.
A big thank you to Chris Magwood for teaching me how to look at buildings through a sustainable lens. Thank you for encouraging me to write this book and for your thoughtful edits and contributions. Thank you to the New Society team for the opportunity and making the book better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to all the past Restoration Gardens staff (Keara White, Steve Massey, Sarah Rafols, Anna King, David King, Grayson Sherritt, Yolanda Lloyd, Jesse John, and Katie Howard) for your ideas, heavy lifting, and research on all our wonderful projects and for capturing them so beautifully in the pictures used throughout these pages. Thank you to Femke Bergsma of Grame; Arlene Throness, Jayne Miles, and Jessica Russell at Ryerson University; and Marc Boucher-Colbert of Urban AG Solutions for taking the time during these challenging days to educate me about edible roof gardens. Thanks go to all of the following: to my friends and family who generously offered quiet spaces, family support, and active listening; to Lorna for raising my children throughout this journey; to my children, Sullivan and Frances, for the renewed inspiration; and to my husband Jackson, for his endless motivation and patience.
Chapter 1 Introduction to Green Roofs

OUR ROOFS , WHICH KEEP US SAFE and dry, are subject to a range of environmental stresses. They are exposed to substantial rains and damaging hail, destructive heat and UV radiation, strong winds, and heavy snow. Our changing seasons and associated temperatures can wreak havoc on the waterproof membrane material used on many roofs, causing it to expand, contract, dry, crack, and then leak or break down.
Investing in a quality roofing membrane gives homeowners peace of mind in keeping their house protected. But why not go further? Why not utilize the roof space as a means to contribute to the biodiversity in your neighborhood and offer a protective place for pollinators or birds to feed? Why not reduce the impact of this space by reducing the heat it would normally reflect or capturing the rain that would run off of it? Why not do all these things? Why not make your roof do more ?
You can. You can build a green roof.
Green roofs, eco-roofs, vegetative roofs, vegetated roof assemblies, or living roofs- regardless of the name, they are all roof systems designed to support plant life. Green roofs provide a range of benefits for your site and your community, and they are an opportunity to turn a static surface into a buzzing tapestry of color.
Fig. 1.1: A roof structure gets battered from many exterior forces while protecting precious interiors. P HOTO C REDIT : R ESTORATION G ARDENS , I NC .
Fig. 1.2: Green roofs serve many purposes and bring life to an otherwise inanimate roofscape. P HOTO C REDIT : R ESTORATION G ARDENS , I NC .
Green Roof Systems
While some green roofs can be complex, others can be quite simple in design. Re

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