Water Resources Program  |  Green Roof -- Plant Types and Benefits

Green Roof
Plant Types
& Benefits
& Care
Green Roof Monitoring Monitoring Results

The plants that were introduced to the roof are known as sedums. They are a drought tolerant family of plants that have shallow root structures. Sedums contain ballast-type leaves that retain water when it is available and slowly use the retained water should drought occur. The sedums are selected for installation on green roofs due to these characteristics and the sometimes harsh conditions on rooftops. Though they grow slower than some plants, they require very little water once they are in place.

Once a greenroof is completely vegetated, the benefits that will result are multifold. In fact, there is not one single benefit, but a variety of positive outcomes. These include improvements to storm water quality; decreases in storm water quantity flowing away from developed areas, particularly during large storms; energy efficiency; reduction of the urban heat island effect; provision of habitat, and photosynthesis, which helps to remove airborne pollutants from the air. Intensive green roofs (active roof garden) may provide garden plots for food production and outdoor recreation and contemplation areas, particularly in urban areas where outdoor space is limited. The County's extensive roof provides the following benefits:

  • Storm Water Quality
  • Storm Water Quantity
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Provision of Habitat
  • Filter Airborne Pollution

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