What are the differences and benefits of each?

Learn which system works best for what project

When selecting a vegetated roofing system, it is important to understand what options are available and what the various components, capabilities and benefits of each system. 

Extensive
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System Characteristics:

  • 3–6 inches of soil
  • vegetation options: sedum, small grasses and perennials
  • most cost-efficient option
  • lightweight
  • low maintenance

Benefits: 

  • lightweight
  • easy to maintain 
  • ideal for areas prone to drought
  • protects the underlying roofing and waterproofing membrane

 

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Semi-intensive

System Characteristics:

  • 7–10 inches of soil
  • vegetation options: increased plant diversity, including perennials and grasses
  • may require irrigation system depending on the climate and plant type installed 

Benefits: 

  • wider range of plant mixtures 
  • more design flexibility
  • additional stormwater retention capabilities
  • protects the underlying roofing and waterproofing membrane

 

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Intensive 

System Characteristics:

  • 10 or more inches of soil
  • vegetation options: full landscape with flowers to small trees
  • requires full irrigation system and added maintenance requirements
  • can transform a rooftop into a garden or usable park in urban areas
  • maximum stormwater retention

Benefits: 

  • full rooftop landscape is possible
  • added usable space for the building
  • largest stormwater retention capacity
  • protects the underlying roofing and waterproofing membrane