Sedum & Wild Flower ‘Green’ Roofing

Here at Gembuild, one of the options we offer is ‘Sedum & wild flower’ roofing, a type of covering which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK — but what’s it all about? Here we give you some insight into its features and benefits. First, some background information:

Skinny Faygate garden room with a sedum roofSedum roofs fall into the category of ‘green’ roofing, which denotes a roof covering which, instead of using traditional roof tiles, slate or shingles, features a ‘living’ roof of growing vegetation and even flowers. This is highly attractive, natural-looking and has many other benefits (more about those below). At Gembuild we use a Sedum & wild flower mix when customers opt to have a ‘green’ roof on their timber garden building, office or studio. Once established this will form a very soft outline to the upper part of the building and, in terms of the garden design as a whole, blur the edges between what’s known as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ garden landscaping. With a sedum roof, garden rooms will sit within the natural flora and fauna of the garden in a much more natural, organic way — almost becoming part of the garden itself.

Click the following images for a larger view:

Wasp on Sedum Flower by Russavia  Sedum-on-roof-by-Roy-Thomas  Sedum glaucophyllum by Kurt Stüber Sedum dasyphyllum by Rolf Engstrand  Sedum caeruleum by Pierre Bona  Green_Roof-by-FlickreviewR Green_roof_by-Lamiot  Green_roof2_by-Lamiot  Biting stonecrop (Sedum acre) by Sannse

Sedum has succulent leaves and, as such, stores water very efficiently. It is this factor which allows it to survive with little or no actual soil and prosper on rooftops with only rainwater and sunlight to support it. There are hundreds of varieties, many of them flowering attractively when conditions are right. Most sedum flowers will feature five petals and double that number of stamens.

Benefits of opting for a Sedum roof on your garden building

  • Sedum roofs require very little maintenance;
  • They are both natural and attractive;
  • They soften the silhouette of the building;
  • They don’t usually need to be weeded;
  • They don’t usually need to be actively watered;
  • Unlike grass or ‘sod’ roofing, they do not need to be cut;
  • They encourage a greater feeling of wellbeing and peace;
  • They allow occupants to be literally closer to nature
  • They are eco-friendly in many ways;
  • They create a wonderful habitat for bees, insects and butterflies;
  • They remove CO2, heavy metals and pollutants from the air and rainwater;
  • They enhance both acoustic and thermal insulation;
  • Their roofs have a lower temperature than traditional coverings;
  • They will require less heating in winter; less cooling in summer;
  • In rainy weather they will efficiently store storm water run-off;
  • They even protect the underlying roof structure & waterproof membrane.

Points to consider

It is hard to think of any disadvantages of sedum roofing, but we’ll give it a go! The most obvious point is that it costs more initially, but that cost is likely to be recouped, as we’ll explain. Because of its excellent thermal insulation properties, particularly when combined with Gembuild’s market-leading insulation which comes as standard, heating requirements are likely to be much lower, or even non-existent, and even air conditioning requirements during the hottest summer months may be completely mitigated — so the extra cost associated with sedum roofing is likely to be offset in the future. The only other consideration which we could think of was with regard to the abundance of flowers on the roof attracting that bee, butterfly and insect life — not everyone likes insects nearby so, for those people, our more traditional roof coverings may be more attractive (we offer asphalt or cedar shingles as well as traditional grey slate). More about our specification is here.

Further information

Call us on 0800 096 5466 for further information or an informal chat (see our contact page for further contact information).

Images by various authors;  © Roy Thomas or licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license as appropriate.