Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor
Many green roof projects require irrigation due to the types of plants used or because of local climate factors. Furthermore, irrigation provides a means of ensuring plant survival during periods of drought. Two main approaches to irrigation are subsurface and overhead systems. Hunter Industries has developed a number of specialized products for irrigating green roofs in an efficient and effective manner that are described here.
Irrigating a green roof landscape can be challenging and one option worth considering is to provide irrigation water from below the surface because this approach provides a range of water efficiency and usability benefits. Advantages to this approach include the elimination of water loss due to wind and evaporation, significantly reduced run times, and highly effective water distribution. Subsurface irrigation is also particularly effective in small spaces, odd-shaped installations, and zones near seating areas. It is the perfect solution for high-efficiency irrigation when facing strong winds, and its subsurface nature also makes it highly resistant to tampering and vandalism.
If the variables of a given project conclude that a subsurface approach to irrigation is the most appropriate solution, Eco-Mat inline emitter tubing with specialized fleece wrap is the ideal choice. While other drip products may fail to ensure healthy rooftop plantings due to the fast percolation rates of the planting media, Eco-Mat retains water in its synthetic fleece mat and makes it readily available to the surrounding plants. The mat is connected with dripline laterals and transports the water quickly and evenly throughout the desired area. Eco-Mat is installed just beneath the optimal root depth of the selected plant material, and water moves through the fleece via capillary action to feed plants from below.