Over the weekend, we met a young couple that owns a Chicago greystone. As they've put money into restoring and repairing their building, they've been trying to go green when budget allows. One of the potential projects on their list was a green roof, so we spent some time with them discussing a simple and cost-efficient way to install a green roof on a flat-topped building: the modular tray system...
With a modular tray system, drainage palettes filled with lightweight rock and ground-cover are laid out like tiles on top of the roof. It's an extremely efficient system that's also easy to maintain. A green roof cuts down on heat absorption and naturally cleans runoff, extending the roof's longevity. We haven't researched exact costs, although we do know that new modular technologies are bringing down the price of green roofs and making them more accessible.
We did a little research and found a direct supplier here in the Midwest: LiveRoof. LiveRoof's modules come pre-planted, and they do the installation for you. They've completed many installations in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. For pricing, contact their Midwestern office.
A few more resources if you're interested in a modular green roof:
• Water Not Required: Green Roof Blocks
• Good Questions: Green Roof Worries
• How Do Green Roofs Work?
• Green Roof? from Danny Seo's blog
If you've had direct experience with a modular green roof, let us know in the comments below.