Green roofs made easy

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Green roofs are a concept familiar to most people now, they’ve become very popular in recent years on many buildings. As with any environmental feature, there are costs associated with the installation and maintenance in order to enjoy the benefits of the green roof. This may change with a new product that makes adding a green roof as easy as laying carpet.
Toyota Roof Gardens, a subsidiary of the car company, has developed the TM9 self-watering turf mat; a system composed of 20 inch squares of grass on an irrigating base. The system is designed for building green roofs as easily as laying down carpet, and since the base layer connects directly to irrigation systems the mats are self watering. The unit is only 2 inches thick, which results in a reduced roof load compared to other types of green roof systems that contain a thicker soil layer. The grass itself is a special brand of Korean velvet grass that only needs to be cut once a year. The system has a price of US $43 per 20 inch square tile, which is still a bargain in terms of reduced installation and maintenance costs, as well as a cost savings if the building’s roof doesn’t need any structural upgrading to account for the increased weight of a conventional green roof.

This system, as with all green roofs, provides a natural cooling effect as well as excellent thermal insulation for a building. Green roofs can also remove carbon dioxide from the air and supply oxygen, and are an excellent addition to any flat-roofed building. The TM9 turf mat would be an easy way to add a green roof to almost any building. It might even be possible to install the system inside, to make living carpet.

Livescience, via Ecofriend

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Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.


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