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why sedum?


posted on
September 28th, 2012
written by
GreenRoofs
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Sedum plants make excellent green roofing plants. Because they are succulent, they have good drought resistance for the summer months as storing water in their leaves. They are small, ground spreading plants and so protect the roof membrane, and spread across the roofs easily.

The sedum plants for roofs are often supplied as mats, to be rolled onto a roof surface after waterproofing and draining layers have been supplied. Drainage mat is needed on flat roofs with less than 3 degrees of slope, to make sure the plants for living roofing systems never get waterlogged. A handy upside of this is that unwanted weeds will not be able survive on the small amounts of water that sedum roof plants thrive on.

As the plant layer provides protection from both UV rays and other damaging elements, using a sedum mat layer a roofs life expectancy is doubled. The additional cost of installing living roofs is more than covered in this saving.

Protect and Insulate with a Living Roof

As further upside to having layers of soil, matting, and plants on a roof is the green roof’s insulating properties. Saving energy is a great bonus, both ecologically and financially. Sedum roofs reduce heating costs by adding mass and thermal resistance to a roof. They also provide cooling in hot weather, by a process called evaporative cooling, as the sun pulls liquid from the soil and the pants the heat energy is consumed rather further baking a felt or tiled roof. Having a layer of soil and plants on green roofs also helps to insulate a building for sound, the soil helps to block lower frequencies and the plants block higher frequencies, so low level disturbance from sound is mitigated.

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Water Management

Runoff water can be a big problem in built up areas with little natural drainage. In heavy rain the amount of water that drains and sewers need to deal with can quickly become overwhelming leading to streets flooding or running directly into rivers.

Example Pull Quote Left

The contaminates from untreated drain water are very detrimental to wildlife in rivers. Green roofing systems slow the movement of run off water, allowing drains and sewers time to process more water, and keep more water within our services. Sedum plants also filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater, adding an additional ecological benefit.

The sedums in green roofs serve as a natural filters

Pollutants and carbon dioxide levels in cities can make life very unpleasant, and levels of pollution are growing. The sedums in green roofs serve as a natural filter pulling pollution and contaminates out of the air as well as the water system.

 

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