There are a lot of flat roofs out there, on urban and suburban dwellings and, more commonly, on commercial buildings. There is a “growing” trend (couldn’t resist) to create “live roof”systems that not only look so much better than huge expanses of black rubber, but also help the environment, and decrease energy costs.
Hospitals have been a bit of a leader here. Hospitals seem to be always adding buildings, which so often gives patients and visitors unfortunate views of rooftops. How much healthier to look out upon an expanse of green from your recovery bed! Visitors and family members surely get a lift from seeing living, growing things instead of asphalt and rubber.
Commercial buildings have an advantage that residential buildings usually don’t have–the ability to sustain some weight on the rooftops. An 8 inch live roof system- soil, plant material- can weigh quite a bit per sq. ft. (don’t ask me to tell you–i will include a link that might help) Live Roof offers patented systems( of course) with various depth availabilities based on your roof construction/capacity–ranging from 8 inches to 2.5 inchs. Obviously, the deeper the system (8 inches) the less maintenance.
BUT the Live Roof System Lite (2.5) inches is a great retr0-fit option for some residential properties with flat roofs! Attached here is a link to their website. If interested, have a structural engineer assess your load bearing capacity on your flat expanse of blackness and see if a live roof system is in your future. But you might need a ladder and a watering can….