For a variety of social, environmental and aesthetic reasons the creation of roof gardens is enjoying something of a renaissance in towns and cities worldwide.
Aside from the technical difficulties of designing and building hard landscapes in such situations, one of the major problems associated with these projects is managing drainage and the weight of soil and other growing media, and, in the case of rooftop lawns, creating and maintaining a sward which will be tolerant of the very dry conditions which often prevail at windswept height. These problems can now be overcome!
Inturf Extralite Premium Soil™ has a bulk density weight of 0.8 tonnes per cubic metre compared to most rootzones or soils at 1.5+ tonnes per cubic metre - almost half the weight.
Lightweight Aquadyne from Inturf is a material which drains but does not dry out. Rather, it harvests and stores rainwater for slow release to rooftop plants such as turf grass, sedum, trees, and shrubs. In addition to solving the problems mentioned, the combination of Inturf Extralite Premium Soil™ and Aquadyne offers substantial costs savings over other approaches.
These pictures, at a large private home in North London, show the use of turf in forms both ancient and modern. The green patch in the picture on the top left contrasts perfectly with the formal structure created by the lavender beds held in by clipped box, whilst at bottom left the expanse of lawn, standard trees and clipped Yew create a country house feel.
The lawn on the right however is in fact the roof of a modern building erected to provide indoor leisure facilities. Because the main house itself is extremely traditional in appearance it was decided that the new building should not be visible from the old. Incidentally, this picture was taken just four weeks after the turf was laid.