Green Roofs

Vertical Landscape Architects Inc. specializes in green roof planning, design, installation and maintenance. Our team has certified green roof training, experience and industry support to provide exceptional value to your project. We currently offer the following services for flat or sloped green roofs.

  • Planning & Design Consultation
  • Cost Estimating
  • Contract Drawing & Specification Preparation
  • Installation
  • Maintenance & Maintenance Plans
  • Permitting & Approvals
  • Tender Package Preparation & Administration
  • Project Management & Contract Administration
  • Community Planning & Outreach / Education
  • Feasibility Studies

Please contact us to discuss your green roof needs or interests.

What is a Green Roof?
A green roof is best defined as a “‘contained’ green space on top of a human-made structure below, above, or at grade. Each green roof is unique and designed to achieve multiple objectives and performance results” (GRHC), such as aesthetic beauty, storm water management, species diversity, thermal energy savings, food production, social interaction, etc. Below is a brief description of the the three general Green Roof types.

Extensive Green Roof
This is the lightest type of green roof and requires the least amount of maintenance. The depth of lightweight growing media is 6 inches or less. Shallow rooting, drought tolerant perennial plants are well adapted to this type of environment with minimal or no irrigation. Intensive roofs are often inaccessible to humans, except for maintenance.

Extensive portion of the Green Roof with pre-vegetated Sedum Mat, 2015.

Extensive portion of the Green Roof with pre-vegetated Sedum Mat  by VLA, 2015.

Semi-Intensive Green Roof
This is a hybrid extensive and intensive green roof system well suited for roof decks that have variable structural loading capacity and/or for projects with limited budgets. By definition a semi-intensive green roof is 25% above or below 6 inches of growing media. This means that some parts of the roof that are able to support increased loads can be built up to intensive levels especially where human access and larger plant material is most desired. Other parts of the roof are kept at extensive levels where structural or budgetary limitations only allow for shallow growing media suitable for low growing groundcovers. The maintenance demands for this type of roof are moderate overall.

Semi-Intensive garage green roof with butterfly friendly plant species, 2015.

Semi-Intensive garage green roof with butterfly friendly plant species by VLA, 2015.

Intensive Green Roof
This is the heaviest but most elaborate type of green roof option and requires the greatest input of irrigation and maintenance. By definition an intensive green roof has an average growing media depth of more than 6 inches, but is often not greater than 10 or 12 inches, except in appropriate locations for large plantings. The greater depth of growing media can accommodate larger perennials, vegetable plants, as well as shrubs and grasses, ornamental trees and certain shade trees depending on root habit, water demands, and the structural capacity of the building. Intensive roofs are often designed to be accessible and serve as unique amenities for building occupants, employees, etc. Rooftop food production typically requires an intensive green roof.

Intensive Green Roof with trees, shrubs and ground cover; Robson Square, BC (by Cornellia Haan Oberlander)

Intensive Green Roof with trees and shrubs; Robson Square, BC (by Cornellia Haan Oberlander)

Please visit our Green Roof Selected Projects page.

Accredited Green Roof Professional Logo and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Logo