How to Install a Green Roof in Toronto

How to Install a Green Roof in Toronto

The Roof pre-vegetated green roof system is simple and easy to install. But like everything else it can be done well or poorly. At LiveRoof we want to assure that each system is installed properly every single time. To help you plan and install the system we’ve developed the LiveRoof installation guide of standardized procedures. Before we go through the guide, here’s a few basics. As a LiveRoof representative it is important to understand the system in its entirety, the benefits and the advantages. Green roofs are admired for their beauty, and their financial and environmental benefits. They pay off by protecting the roof from sun, wind, heat, and cold and can also extend the life of the roof by more than 40 years. Considering the average life expectancy of a roof is 10 to 15 years, and can cost over $20 per square foot to replace, it’s easy to see why green roofs make financial sense. There’s ongoing cost savings. Green roofs reduce air conditioning costs, reduce or eliminate stormwater discharge fees, and allow building owners to sell or rent their properties more easily than old-fashioned buildings without green roofs. Environmentally proficient green roofs help to reduce the effects of global warming, release oxygen, and absorb greenhouse gases.

They keep pollutants out of our lakes and streams, absorb sound, reduce noise, and help replace the plants that existed before the building was built. They also provide natural views which help make people calmer, happier, and more productive. LiveRoof has many benefits. It’s a unique patent-pending green roof system with pre vegetated modules. It arrives fully grown for an instantly mature, effective, and attractive green roof. No need to start with a brown roof like other systems and then farm the roof for years, trying to make it green. A process that can take more than three years. With LiveRoof, the plants and roots are already established, so you get a green roof that’s instantly functional from day one. Designed and developed by a team of horticulturist, roofers, architects, and logistics experts, this professional collaborative effort is what makes LiveRoof stand out from the rest. From its effective drain slots to its unique patent-pending soil elevators and moisture portals, it’s specifically designed and engineered to grow plants successfully on a rooftop environment. LiveRoof modules are efficient. They can be vegetated with various plant assortments to address particular design needs and climate. And if there’s ever a need to make changes, LiveRoof modules are easily moved aside and then replaced after the work is done.
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They’re invisible and subterranean, unlike other modular green roofs. Making them more aesthetically pleasing and natural looking. In addition, because LiveRoof is pre-vegetated, it brings immediate evaporative cooling, erosion control, reduced maintenance, and most importantly owners satisfaction. You should be proud to be a part of each and every LiveRoof installation and strive to conduct the installation as precisely as possible. The LiveRoof installation guide of standardized procedures is intended to help you do just that. When installing LiveRoof, always have a copy of the guide on hand and follow it step by step.

It’s the consistent execution of these standardized procedures that creates optimum performance and best appearance, maximum value, and customer satisfaction and a great reputation for the LiveRoof brand, for your company, and your staff. These are the steps to install the LiveRoof system. They should be followed in numerical order. Let’s get started. Always prepare for your LiveRoof installation long before the modules arrive at the jobsite. This saves time, money, and ensures maximum quality. You must be committed to timely communication. Stay in touch with your LiveRoof grower and the contractor who hired you keep everyone in the know. Determine how many modules you will install each day and schedule delivery with your LiveRoof grower three to four weeks in advance so the grower can make arrangements for trucks and drivers. Prior to placing the slip sheet the roof should be tested by flooding or other means to ensure that it’s waterproof. You should get an official sign off from the Installer of the waterproofing system and general contractor. Now conduct a pre installation training session with your staff. Review all OSHA and related safety procedures. Be especially diligent with safety harnesses and special safety equipment for working on rooftops and roping off edges of the roof.

If needed, give everyone a copy of the guide and review the toronto roof installation process. Review the importance of protecting the roofing membranes from scratches and punctures. Review your material handling plans. Don’t compose on the rooftop. Pre-plan how you will do the job. Designate the various functions each person will perform, including a crane or lift truck operator and Hoppit loader at ground level, a Hoppit unloader, a conveyor unloader, a module placer, a designated sweeper to keep the roof clean, a soil elevator remover, and a custom cutter if needed.

Let everyone know that each time a truck is unloaded, it should be filled back up with the empty delivery Hoppit’s. Otherwise, additional trips will be needed and additional charges will be applied. Next, visit the rooftop job site with a representative from the roofing contractor and get approval for beginning the LiveRoof installation. While visiting go through this detailed list and make sure to bring needed materials. In short, transportation equipment and delivery trucks can be positioned close to the building to minimize wasted transport time. Keep in mind, when using lifting equipment, lifting capacity decreases as the boom is extended. Use equipment that is big enough to easily do the job safely. Protect the building and roof surfaces from mechanical damage. Always protect the parapet from bumping and abrasion. Know in advance who will install the protective slip sheet root barrier, insurance pre-approved by the manufacturer of the waterproofing system. Normally this will be 40 mils thick or thicker. The barrier can be TPO, PVC, polyethylene, or polypropylene, with seams overlapping and fastened by heat weld, EPDM with seams overlapping a minimum of three inches and glued with a roll out adhesive tape that is impervious to and unaffected by moisture, or a low profile polypropylene drain board.

Never use a moisture holding fabric such as needle punch polyethylene or felt as a slip sheet root barrier. This type of fabric stays wet and encourages root growth that could impede drainage and is impossible to sweep and keep clean. If you become aware that a moisture holding fabric like needle punched polyethylene or felt has been installed by another contractor stop the process immediately. Call the architect and have them replace it with the proper material.

If it’s your responsibility, place the protective sheet root barrier at this time and hold it down with temporary ballast. Ensure approval has been made by the manufacturer of the waterproofing system. Place sheets of plywood or closed-cell foam on the roof to further protect the roof surface during installation. Bring conveyors and other transport methods to the roof. If it’s required install paver pedestals, pavers, and edging. If edging is used it should sit under the modules and be held by their weight. Edging is lightweight so, hold it in place with temporary ballast as a safety procedure to keep it from blowing off the roof. Never work in freezing temperatures and never install frozen LiveRoof modules. Frozen soil prevents the modules from fitting together tightly.

If you see the slightest damage to the underlying roof membrane immediately reported to the roofing contractor for immediate repair and stop the process until repairs are complete. Never cover over any damage or defect. Roof leaks can never be tolerated and the best way to ensure this is to prevent damage. When plants arrive plastic-wrapped they can bake in the Sun very quickly. Get them to the roof immediately, Unwrap, unload, and install them. Never store plastic wrapped Hoppits in the sun. Avoid walking on plants during installation. You may walk on them once a week after installation. Setup conveyance equipment in a manner that protects roof membranes and eliminates or greatly reduces the need to walk with the modules. The preferred method is to set up in a manner that establishes a point of delivery to a roller conveyor which runs parallel to the line of installation. Roller conveyors can be set on transportable jack stands and positioned within eight to ten feet of the line of installation.

Then seven or eight rows and modules can be set before the conveyor needs to be moved back another 8 to 10 feet. Move modules along the conveyor smoothly do not push them forcefully or slam them together. The impact displaces soil. Always set up work flow to minimize walking. If you must walk more than a few feet carrying a live roof module then the design of your installation procedure is inefficient and should be redesigned before work begins. When you minimize walking you’re more efficient. If you’re walking you’re wasting time and driving up your costs. Remember this, walking is waste. Now it’s time to prepare for unloading modules at the parapet. It’s important to follow these strict guidelines. Suspend the LiveRoof delivery Hoppit over the rooftop or along the parapet near the end of the roller conveyor.

You may find it useful to set a couple of tires on the roof and lower the Hoppit onto the tires so as to compress them just enough to stabilize the Hoppit but not enough to put too much weight on the roof itself. If the roof is strong enough however, you may be able to rest the Hoppit on plywood, closed cell foam, or on a roofing cart to protect the roof. Even if pre-approved for the weight, never set the Hoppit or other conveyance modules carts or heavy objects directly on the rooftop. Make sure to place the Hoppit or other conveyance devices on the roof only in areas that can adequately support the weight. A Hoppit loaded with 18 modules may weigh as much as 1100 pounds.

A Hoppit with 36 modules will weigh as much as 2,200 pounds. Regardless of what type of Hoppit or cart is used, be aware of its weight when fully loaded with modules. Never overload the rooftop. It’s now time for installation. Analyze the job with your staff and designate the various roles. there should be a Hoppit unloader, a sweeper, a conveyor unloader, a module placer, a soil elevator remover, and a custom cutter if needed. It is essential that each person perform his designated role consistently. Multitasking should be avoided as there must be proficiency and accountability for each task. Tasks may be rotated each hour so to eliminate fatigue. If you must place modules across long expenses without a parapet to push against use chalk lines to ensure straight rows. When removing LiveRoof modules from The Hoppit or other conveyance device do not pull on push against, remove, or otherwise disturb, jar, or dislodge the flexible soil elevators.

Also when handling the LiveRoof modules, do so only by using the hand grips. Always start in a corner and work right to left. This is so the overlapping edges align correctly and to orient the overlapping lip. If you fail to do this you will not be able to install the modules correctly. The sticker on the module should be facing toward you. Take note of the overlapping edges on the LiveRoof modules. There is a front and a back side. The front side, which is the side away from you as you are placing the modules, and the right side have overlapping edges that center the containers and make them aligned correctly. Use proper body mechanics when lifting LiveRoof modules. Remember to always bend with your knees not your back. And keep the module close to your body. Place and push the first module tightly into the roof corner you’re starting in. Keep it against the edging or parapet with the overlapping lip away from you.

Make sure that it’s in straight. Never push against the soft soil elevators. That compresses the soil. always push the hard plastic base of the module on the side with the sticker that says “sticker faces installer.” Now place the second module next to the first. But, set it up and over the edge of the first module. This way the overlapping lip of the second module overlaps the half moon-shaped moisture portals of the first module. Then push them tightly together to close the gap between the modules and to compress any soil that extends beyond the edge of the module.

You must place every module in this manner. And you should never kick a module into place. The patented moisture portals unite the soil, water, and plants from one module to the next. After placing each and every module, check to make sure it’s correctly aligned. Never allow your installations to drift out of alignment. If any plants are hanging over the module edges carefully flip them up and out of the way before pushing modules tight against each other. Otherwise, the modules won’t fit tightly together. Do not set modules on top of any spilled aggregate or soil. This damages roofing membranes. During the entire installation process, the designated sweeper must sweep the roof surface clean and away from the previously placed modules before placing each new module. Sweep with a corn or kitchen type broom. Do not use a blower. It blows gravel under the modules. Continue placing the LiveRoof modules in this manner. Once the first row has 5 to 10 modules in place, other installers may begin the process with the second row.

Be sure the modules in the second row are placed so they’re overlapping edges cover the half moon-shaped moisture portals of the modules in the first row. As the second row is set, the soil elevators from the modules in the first row are now 100% surrounded by modules or edging and need to be carefully pulled out. Pull them sideways not straight up you may remove two at a time, by grabbing the elevators from adjacent modules, at once. Spring-loaded pliers are the ideal tool for this. This removal process of the soil elevators needs to be repeated after each row is set.

Soil elevators should be appropriately recycled. During placement, it might be necessary to custom cut modules to fit odd sized areas. LiveRoof modules with mature plants and soil in the container may be cut using a radial arm saw with masonry blade, the same that used in cutting paver stones. If the cut surface will be curved a reciprocating saw may be used. Always install modules in a manner that minimizes custom cutting to make installation easier and more cost-effective. When cutting use proper safety standards and always wear protective goggles and gloves. To make a custom cut place the LiveRoof modules against the edging. Mark the cut with a straight edge. Place the module in a safe protected area before cutting. For example, not on the roof membrane. Handle gently. The roots will bind the soil but can be disturbed by rough handling.

When custom cutting is needed on a non-draining edge, like the top side of the roof, custom cut modules may be held in place by fitting tightly against either another module or the edging. If the roof is sloping and custom cutting is necessary, start at the bottom and work up. This way if there’s any compression, the compression is against modules that haven’t been cut.

Every time a truck is unloaded, fill it back up with empty Hoppits. Never make the driver wait or return to the jobsite. If this happens there will be additional delivery charges. Once installation is completed, immediately water all plants. Soak the soil from top to bottom. This settles the soil and requires about one and a quarter gallons of water per module. Clean the job site daily to keep it neat and orderly at all times. At the end of the job clean the site 100%. Never leave any waste or debris.

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How to Install a Green Roof in Toronto was originally published on Toronto Roofing Company-Roof Repair Toronto-(647)-847-8826