While not all green roof concepts are suitable for all types of roof, the limits of feasibility are now being redefined by ZinCo thanks to new technical development combining the “Summer Plains” system with Aquatec.

An intensive green roof using the this system accounts for only 165 kilograms per meter squared and a build-up height of only 15 centimeters, even on a pitched roof, which is just about half the values for a conventional “roof garden.” In addition, no other irrigation method is as efficient as the product’s capillary irrigation system. It is precisely for this reason that its application has been expanded to include the entire range of extensive green roofs where there is not enough natural precipitation, for example in regions such as the southern countries. This inspired system opens up totally new possibilities for the green roof market in terms of structure and irrigation.

The first layer of the system build-up involves the installation of a PV system filter as a protective layer on the root-resistant waterproofing membrane. This is followed by the 1 x 2 meter Aquatec AT 45 water distribution, storage and drainage elements in conjunction with the DV 40 wicking mat. The basic principle provides for the distribution and storage of water in the cells of the elements.

The water is then drawn upwards through the wicks in the wicking mat and made available to the substrate directly in the root area. Water storage in the product’s elements is managed by means of precipitation or, in the event of a lack of precipitation, by means of the drip lines clipped into the elements. The water supply is connected to a control unit and adjusted as required.

During the planning phase, it is vital to take into account the existing roof pitch and any unevenness in order to ensure a uniform level of water storage. The system is very flexible here, meaning that it can manage a range extending from 0 degrees to a pitch of over 5 degrees. The boards are shaped in such a way that minor irregularities in the roof are easily covered over. In addition, it is important to ensure that the water pressure is sufficient. This depends on the distance of the individual irrigation sections to the control unit, the drip line lengths and any differences in pitch of the roof.

Water and Cost Savings
In comparison to a conventional system providing additional irrigation from above, for example a lawn sprinkler, water consumption with the “Summer Plains” system build-up is significantly reduced as the water is available directly in the root area and does not evaporate to any extent on the surface.

And, compared with the usual drip irrigation system, considerably fewer lines are required as the water is distributed across the surface of the elements. Moreover, the drainage elements do not have to be filled as is the case with other systems which saves on weight and labor and, therefore, on cost.

This efficient irrigation concept allows for the use of a shallow substrate depth compared with conventional intensive green roofs, which also results in less effort and lower costs.