Strange Estimate but I need help with plants

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by NNJLandman, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Well i got a strange call for an estimate the other day, but from what I hear it can pay big so I figured Id try it out. I got a call to do some "roof top" landscaping, thats right. One of my buddies father is a roofer, he has been doing roofs in the city and refered me to a building owner after they inquired about landscaping up top. Apparently they want some type of patio as well as some plants to make it seem like a refuge for employees to eat their lunch on a nice day etc. My question is, about plants....being higher up, will plant selection be limited due to wind, and different air etc. I must include as far as watering is concerned the have several maintenace personel to take care of that. Havent looked at the job yet, but talked to the owner and told him Id give him some type of design n estimate. Apparently this is getting big in the city....anyway any help or input would be appreciated. THanks.

  2. Duck Dodger

    Duck Dodger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I've been noticing alot more of this lately. I also read an article on them don't remember where though. I think structure integerity and water issues are the biggest concerns. It is supposed to help insalate as well. Most plantings I have seen are pretty lush. I saw one roof that was nothing but moss and low growing grasses. Good luck, post some pics if you do the job.
  3. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Succulents are what alot of rooftop gardeners are planting.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    DANGER WILL RODGERS, DANGER!!! Do some research, it is unlikely the roof on an older building is structurally engineered to be able to hold the additional weight of soil and the water the soil can hold. It is an emerging new market, so would be good for you to become one of the first in the market but approach with caution. There have been many articles over the last year in Lawn and Landscape or Landscape Management or Turf or any of the other slew of industry publications.
  6. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    First off thanks for the replys so far guys, they have been very helpful. Yes i have realized I will need a building engineer for the project, myself am acctually being certified as a fire inspector and this covers much building code therefore I have realized the potential dangers and code violations and code requirements that i have to check, seems like it will need a lot of work to get the job, but nothin im afraid of, hopefully it works out. Again thanks for the replys, any other information will be greatly appreciated.

  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Jeff, do they want the roof planted as in a green roof or can you use containers for your plantings. Containers can be huge and allow you to drain excess water from the roof easily and they can also be irrigated with a simple drip system to control over irrigation and runoff. As has been mentioned, the weight of such a project will always come into effect. As a fire inspector you understand construction and loads, especially that of water and the multiple ways it can do damage.

    Yes your plant selection will be governed by the environment. Is there a lot of pollution, wind and sun exposure? Will there be an irrigation system and who will maintain it. I saw you said they have a maintenance staff, but that doesn't mean they can or want to maintain plants. You must also consider a fertilization program, as this soil whether in containers or on the roof itself has no way of regenerating itself. It will collect pollutants and airborne salts along with fertilizer residue if the wrong materials are used. Best to get the engineering reports and go from there.

  8. PlantSolutions

    PlantSolutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Definitely go to They hold seminars about this. As for soil, there are new types which are used on rooftops that are not heavy in weight. I started to look more into this as is it getting huge in England and I could see NYC being next. Technology is everything, but I definitely would look into further before agreeing. Too much could be riding on it. As for plants, as Kirk stated, it will definitely limit choices because of the elements, especially wind, shade and varying temps....

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