Green pitched roofs – easy to install, safe green pitched roofs

Take a look at the roofs in your neighbourhood and you will see: pitched and inclined roof shapes are widespread and very popular, especially in residential areas on one family houses, detached homes and apartment buildings. However, log cabin style, stables, outbuildings and industrial buildings are also often built using pitched roofs. But why are green roofs rarely found on sloping and inclined roofs?

In this overview, we should like to demonstrate the benefits, prerequisites and structures for a pitched green roof system. In addition, we will grant you an insight into a system which is unique throughout the world, and makes elaborate anti-slip or shear protection systems superfluous, making pitched green roofing solution for angles of inclination up to 45° possible, in an unsophisticated, safe and speedy manner.

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Pitched roof shapes are popular

Pitched roofs in a wide variety of shapes are amongst the most popular forms of roof in Germany. Double-pitched roofs are clearly the frontrunner among roof types. Classic hipped roofs with their typical roof shape are also in the forefront. The choice of roof shape has a decisive influence on the overall appearance of the building. A wide variety of roofing options are available for pitched roofs: Roof tiles, copper, aluminium or zinc metal sheets, slate or thatched coverings. Green roof coverings for pitched roofs provide numerous environmental, technical and visual advantages in addition to the shape of roof selected.

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Pitched green roof coverings – easy on the eye and good for energy consumption

For renovation work, refurbishments and new-build projects, as a homeowner you will increasingly be confronted by measures to regulate energy consumption and to deal with climate control solutions for your home. For many owners of flat roofs, a green roof is a pleasant and beneficial way to reduce energy consumption and optimise climate control requirements. So why not also benefit from the many other advantages of green roof coverings on pitched roofs. A pitched green roof is not only convincing due to its natural appearance, but above all due to various environmental and technical benefits:

    • Improving the microclimate
    • Relief for drainage and sewers through rainwater retention
    • Protecting the roof below
    • Thermal insulation in winter and reduces excessive heat build-up in summertime
    • Plants filter pollutants and fine dust, absorb CO2
    • Less extreme temperature fluctuations on roof surfaces
    • Increased working life of the roof
    • Cost savings due to reduced need for servicing and renovation work
    • Noise reduction and sound insulation
    • Creates habitats for plants and animals

Due to the many positive aspects of green roofs, you can cut your energy consumption compared to a conventional tiled roof and enjoy the aesthetic and environmental benefits of a green roof in full. Best of all, green roof coverings on pitched roofs are simple and quick to install using our pre-cultivated vegetation mats. The sedum mats are already 90% pre-vegetated and covered on delivery, which means your roof will immediately take on a beautiful green appearance, requiring very little time for servicing and maintenance in future.

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Requirements for green pitched roofs

With a little manual skill and dexterity, you can easily implement green coverings on flat roofs yourself. With an appropriate flat roof package, you will have the relevant materials and information you will need, to install a green flat roof. Static engineering requirements of the roof structure must be taken into consideration for both green flat roofs and pitched roofs. As early as the design phase, the roof construction, pitch of the roof, roof build-up and static engineering must be adapted for the green roof design. The roof construction must be able to bear the weight for surface area loads of approximately 120kg/m².

The worldwide unique principle of TOPGREEN green roof systems becomes especially evident in the field of pitched green roofs inclined up to 45°. For many other manufacturers, additional, sometimes very complex, anti-slip, restraint systems must be installed to provide sufficient support and stability for the substrate and vegetation layer. With the TOPGREEN system, green roof tiles are simply laid on a roof structure similar to that for a tiled roof. Only the spacing of support battens, from 25 cm - 50 cm (depending on tiles used), is different than when using customary roofing tiles. Substrate and greening mats can be fitted and secured in place directly in or onto green roofing tiles.

Build-up of a pitched, green roof

The build-up of a TOPGREEN pitched green roof is similar to conventional tiled roofs. After installing open diffusion underlay (breather membrane) and installing counter battens, roof battens can be fitted. Once the roof has been properly and professionally prepared, green roofing tiles can simply and easily be set in place and fixed back onto the batten structure present.

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Layer 1: Rafters

Roof rafters, or "rafters", support the roof membrane and run from ridge to eaves. When designing a new green roof, we recommend setting out the rafter lengths and width of the roof so that no cutting of green roof tiles required.

Schichtaufbau der Schrägdachbegrünung - Schicht 2 - TOPGREEN Gründachsysteme

Layer 2: Open diffusion underlay (breather membrane)

Installing a membrane as underlay beneath green roof tiles is intended to prevent external moisture from penetrating into thermal insulation below. This waterproofing measure to protect against rain, ensures that moisture runs off in the direction of the eaves.

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Layer 3: Counter battens and roof battens

Counter battens and roof battens are similar to those for a tiled roof. Only the spacing of roof battens is different. Depending on the green roof tile needed, roof battens must be installed with a spacing and separation of 25 cm (for green roof tile GDP 30) or 50 cm (for green roof tile GDP45) apart.

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Layer 4: Green roof tiles

This is where unique aspects of the TOPGREEN green roofing system come into play. The special shape of our green roofing tiles provides a particularly straightforward, secure and durable basis for green roofs. Two variants are available, depending on pitch of the roof.

Schichtaufbau der Schrägdachbegrünung - Schicht 5 - TOPGREEN Gründachsysteme

Layer 5: Carrier layer for vegetation

The carrier layer for vegetation is created using our TOPGREEN substrate. The substrate is simply installed into or onto green roof tiles. The special honeycomb structure ensures sufficient water is retained on the roof, and that excess water runs off in the direction of the eaves.

Schichtaufbau der Schrägdachbegrünung - Schicht 6 - TOPGREEN Gründachsysteme

Layer 6: Vegetation carrier layer

By using pre-cultivated sedum mats, your pitched roof is already 90% green and covered on delivery. Thanks to our high-quality substrate and our anti-slip and shear resistant restraint build-up, sedum plants can take root quickly and securely in the substrate and honeycombs of our green roofing tiles.

Types of greenery and plants used on pitched roofs

Pitched roof constructions, especially constructions made of wood, are often only able to register  low load reserves. Intensive green roofs are therefore often not feasible, due to the excessive loads. For optimal greening of pitched roofs, we recommend a thin-layer of an extensive green roof. In combination with our TOPGREEN green roof tiles and the pre-cultivated sedum mats, you can obtain a straightforward, low-maintenance and long-life green roof through extensive greening.

Sedum matting is produced according to German FLL guidelines and mats are 90% green on delivery. The mix consists of six to eight different species of sedum, that are harmoniously coordinated and are especially easy to maintain. Due to the honeycomb structure of our green roof pans, the sedum plants selected can also easily survive lengthy dry spells of six to eight weeks, so no need for additional watering measures.

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Unique worldwide for pitched roofs - TOPGREEN green roof systems

Extensive pitched green roofs with no need for elaborate anti-slip or shearing protection - inconceivable for many people. However, thanks to our innovative and worldwide unique green roof system for pitched roof solutions, even pitched roofs inclined up to 45° can be greened in an uncomplicated manner, with no need for anti-slip or shearing protection measures. The special honeycomb structure ensures sufficient water retention on the roof and drains excess water off towards the eaves. In addition, honeycombs ensure that the substrate and vegetation planted are prevented from slipping off - even on roof pitches up to 45°. Due to the ventilated area below the tiles, roof battens remain dry at all times, ensuring optimum shearing and anti-slip resistance for the entire system. Matching ridge elements for popular double-pitch roofs and ventilation tiles complete our TOPGREEN product range.

You can find more information about our TOPGREEN green roofing systems and products here. Please contact us at any time, if you are interested in a green roof. We will be happy to advise you and help you with optimum realisation of your project.

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Further information on green roofs

Plant list

Not every plant can cope with the extreme conditions on green roofs - we will demonstrate to you here, which ones are nevertheless suitable for green roofs.

TOPGREEN Green Roof System

Using our TOPGREEN green roof systems, you will obtain an especially simple and safe solution for implementing your green roof. Find out more about individual products here.

Installing a green garage roof yourself

Install your own green garage roof yourself - no problem, using our flat roofing package. Costs, advantages and solutions – you can learn more here.