Green roofs and “living” walls

The studies and the figures relating to the ecological and economic benefits of our green roofs and "living" walls, multiply rapidly.

The green roof reduces the need for air conditioning of the building during the summer months, depending on the individual characteristics, from 50-90%. The temperature at the surface of the roof of a building with a green roof does not exceed 25-30 ° C, even in summer, while the corresponding a conventional building, can reach 75 degrees. In London and Shanghai, only in the year 2008, 100.000m² planted  green roofs. In France, planted annually 1.000.000m² year, while in Germany 11.000.000! These figures, clearly demonstrate the huge investment already made in green growth and the seriousness with which, citizens face the phenomenon of global warming.

Musee du Quai Branly, Παρίσι, από τον Patrick Βlanc, τον “εφευρέτη” του πράσινου “ζωντανού” τοίχου.

The economic benefits of Ecological Roofs

• Reduction of heat loss in winter

• Reduce heating and cooling costs up to 50%

• Reduce the temperature of the surface of the roof to 45-50 C

• Reduction of the building maintenance

• Immediate return of the investment

• Increasing the market value of the property

• Doubling the duration of the life of the roof insulation from 30 years, with conventional insulation, to 60 years

Planted roofs

As a green roof or else called, planted roof, green roof, roof garden defines all or part of the roof surface, roof, balcony etc., which makes interventions for vegetation establishment. The green roof is composed of several layers by specialized materials, which is generally the base of the plant, the drainage network, the substrate and vegetation. There are three types of planted roof, the extensive, intensive and semi-intensive.

• extensive: It is the most appropriate application for Greek buildings in relation to other types as well as collect the most advantageous proportion to the climatic conditions, the installation and maintenance costs. The depth of the substrate is only 2-15cm, the ecological benefit is high, the vegetation support is mainly herbaceous and needs little care and maintenance.

Intensive: Intensive formula is to create an entire garden on the roof of a building. The result is very impressive, but the cost is quite elevated, and its manufacture requires special structural design (weight amounts to 150-800kg / m²), needs deep substrate (0.15-1.5m) and costly maintenance. Also, it takes a long time to recoup the investment. However, the final form is a natural oasis in the urban landscape, well placed trees, paths, water features and shading systems etc.

semi-intensive: This formula combines elements of both these types, while in this range is more appropriate for the Greek climate, the semi-intensive tending to the extensive type. Prerequisite for the installation of a green roof is mostly the static ability of the building to hold the weight of the structure. Otherwise, it is a safe and very useful application for all types of buildings.

Patrick Blanc, Astralia - Cité de l’Espace, Τουλούζ.

Select vegetation

The type of vegetation that will be chosen for each planted roof, depends on the depth of the substrate to the building can withstand, the method of construction of the roof / housing, environmental conditions and the manufacturing cost limit. Also, they should be taken into consideration, the desired operating and energy results, but also the aesthetic perception of the interested. Indicative, can be planted various species of flowers, herbs, turf grass and sod Mediterranean plants.

The ecological benefits of Roof Garden

• Increase the percentage of vegetation in the urban landscape and create natural environment for urban flora and fauna

• Reduction of air temperature

• Improving air quality by absorbing particulates

• Enrichment of air with oxygen through photosynthesis

• Remove the phenomenon of "heat island"

• Protection against overflow of water in storms

• Protection against electromagnetic radiation

• Fire protection

• Soundproofing

• Reducing the amount of water flowing in the drain system

Greens 'alive' walls

If the idea of ​​a green wall sounds  new, remember the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, who remained in history as a technological breakthrough and an aesthetic marvel. The idea of ​​hanging gardens implemented by other people such as the Vikings, while the roofs with beaten earth that were used in the island traditional buildings, in the Mediterranean region, serving the same logic. In modern times, the French botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, considered the 'inventor' of the green 'living' wall. His collaborations with numerous private and public institutions such as museums, schools, airports, public buildings, shopping centers, etc., as well as large-scale and high aesthetic value of applications make the green walls a great achievement in the building sector and eco-design. The green walls exhibit the aforementioned advantages of green roofs, and in addition, provide optical isolation, can cost less and do not require much space, maintenance and care.

Πράσινος τοίχος που έφτιαξαν οι μαθητές στο Discovery High School του Μανχάταν


By installing green roof is achieved by reducing the surface temperature of the roof up to 45-50 degrees and the increase in the commercial value of the property.

There are two kinds of applications: green facades and the "living" walls.

Green facades consisting mainly of climbing plants, which grow directly on the building or to specific embodiments, an image that is often found in Greece. The "living" walls is a structure consisting of cell lines, in which plants are placed, and are suitable for both indoors as well as outdoors. The number of cells depends on their size and the surface covering and changed when worn or when they have reached the peak of their life. Usually cells 1m length dimensions are used, width 0.5m, 0.12m depth  and weight 88kg / m², which are based on the specific context and placed into different rows of plants.

Only 1.5 square meter planted roof produces enough oxygen to meet the annual needs of an adult in the fresh air. You knew that …


Plant walls, are configured to maintain a balance between water and air to the substrate, making ideal conditions for the growth of plants and allowing them to grow, both horizontally and vertically, thus covering the entire surface of the cells . However the weight of the plant depends on the type and age, but when the plants are fully grown should not surpass 12kg per m² for plants such as grass and 24kg per m² for the rest. The plant species that thrive in plant walls are many, but rather is trailing due to their rapid spread on surfaces. They are selected after  a specific study and have arange from grass to shrubs and low-growing, wild flowering plants. As alter, either the color of the leaf or the flower relative to the period of time, they form a course changing canvas natural aesthetics in the urban environment.

Είναι εδαφοκαλυπτικά, λόγω της γρήγορης εξάπλωσης τους πάνω στις επιφάνειες και επιλέγονται ύστερα από ειδική μελέτη.  

The benefits

In Greece of the economic crisis, in addition to our ecological conscience,  in our installation of green roofs and walls, also can lead us also our pockets. All individual benefits, pay money according to the particular features of the application and of the building, for example the building's energy losses, the rate of the roof surface planted, local climatic conditions, etc. Besides the economic, the ecological benefits are also particularly remarkable.