Water Sensitive SA

Green roofs – Design tips

Tip 1 – Green roofs are suitable for flat roofs through to slopes up to 30%


Tip 2 – Growing medium (substrate) depth for all vegetation types

Growing medium (substrate) depth for all vegetation types. Source: Growing green guide ebook

Source: Growing green guide ebook


Tip 3 – Growing medium (substrate) depth for trees


Tip 4 – Choosing the right geotextile for your green roof substrate


Tip 5 – How to increase the water storage capacity of your green roof


Tip 6 – What structure loads need to be considered for a green roof?

All loads on the roof need to be considered in the structural capacity of the structure including the saturated weight of the substrate (growing medium), drainage system and plants (dead load), as well as the usage, such as people and activities (live load).

Typical saturated weights for a green roof. Source: Water Sensitive SA Green roofs fact sheet

Source: Water Sensitive SA Green roofs fact sheet


Tip 7 – How to place landscape elements on the green roof for optimal structural support

  • Heaviest loads should be located over structural supports such as columns or walls.
  • Lightest or thin substrates should be located at the midspan of the concrete slab or roof beam.

How to place landscape elements on a green roof for optimal structural support. Source: Fifth Creek Studio

Source: Fifth Creek Studio


Tip 8 – How to enhance drainage at downpipe outlets on a green roof

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.