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Terms to know when working with green roofs

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Here are some terms to be familiar with when working with green roofs.

The technical term for everything installed to cover the waterproofing membrane. When writing specifications, designers refer to the “vegetated overburden” in lieu of “green roof”

Intensive and extensive green roofs

A green roof with deeper soil media (200–760mm in depth). These roofs are typically comprised of diverse plant material, accessible to users, and higher cost than extensive systems.

A green roof with shallow soil media (51–152mm in depth) that are typically comprised of sedum plants, inaccessible to users, and lower cost than intensive systems.

Frank Edgerton Martin is a contributing editor for Fabric Architecture specializing in landscape design and planning. His profile on Jeffrey Bruce, FASLA, appeared in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue.

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