Green Roof


What is this?

A green roof, sometimes called a living roof, is the roof of a building that is partly or completely covered with plants growing in a specialized “soil” over a waterproof membrane. Green roofs are generally planted with specially selected drought- and wind- tolerant plants to minimize maintenance and improve performance.

How do I do this?

On my own

Unless you have advanced expertise in this area, this not recommended as a do-it-yourself project.  The waterproof membrane, for instance, is critical, as is the ability of the roof to bear the weight of the “garden.”

However, you can begin by exploring some local green roofs:

  1. Lake County Permit Center, Libertyville
  2. College of Lake County's Southlake Campus, Vernon Hills
  3. Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe
  4. Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie/Evelyn Pease Tyner Nature Center, Glenview
  5. Here are photos of a couple local projects we love:



Hire some help

For information on green roof installations it is important to contact a knowledgeable professional who can properly retrofit or develop a green roof for your specific project. See our local vendors.

Click here for another great resource.

Why is this important?

Even a shallow green roof can help absorb and filter rainwater, provide butterfly or songbird benefits and offer a cooling alternative to conventional roofs. Green roofs insulate buildings, increase property values and improve urban aesthetics. They can also provide opportunities for outdoor living space as a rooftop garden, whether on a home or corporate building.

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