Friday, December 16, 2011

Arizona Green Roof

I didn't want to be the last designer to the Green Roof table. 


This idea started over too many beers as i recall. It started as a lark and I like it so much that I think I will do this on all my future projects except I'll take it more seriously. 

We reinforced the roof before we started, then we have soil fabric over tar paper. Originally we laid the pads like shingles, it looked cool but rainwater slid off them so we flipped the pads up so they could catch rain water. We had to add some micro sprays because of our prolonged drought. I figure prickly pear is one of the toughest plants on the planet, it grows in adverse conditions and even in cracks in cliff faces. They are planted in 3" of native granite soil from the site, the idea was to have something for the roots to grab onto. 


It should flower this spring.


























20 comments:

  1. That is stunning, though I'm still not sure how one can access it to maintain, pull out trash, etc. Opuntia engelmannii...a desert dweller's best friend!

    Our local green roofs are Chicago planting-themed, perhaps to go with Des Moines landscapes below? - spray-irrigated sedums and anything midwestern. So, I rebeled on on a small install here in '08, with shallower-rooted desert grassland species, and a few cacti. I was concerned about weight w/ more Opuntia. After 2 drought years, only O. engelmannii remains.

    Glad I found your blog, thanks to a blogger in Puerto Rico!

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  2. I don't know which image I like best. The bucket of Opuntia pads? The photo of them laid out like shingles (or pancakes), or the finished shots. Wonderful!

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  3. Wonderful! That layout would completely repel any unwanted traffic (and probably a lot of wanted traffic, including maintenance folks...) But it's so much fun!

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  4. I love it, but can a roof top hold the shear wieght of all that cactus? It would be very heavy in time?

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  5. Sweeeet. Anyway, Aaron, if that roof is designed to be a green roof, then I think it should be prepared to hold up all that weight. Because the soil and the plants add weight to the structure, a more stable framework would be needed to support it.

    -Will Peartin

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  6. wow, this is incredible. i didn't even know about this trend until now.

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  7. Green roofing is truly starting to become a trend. What makes yours unique is the type of plant you used. Normally, short grass is used for this kind of project. I didn't expect a cactus garden on a roof would be that attractive .Your photo documentation is helpful to those who want to do the same thing. You definitely love cactuses because you found spaces for your fascination, and your idea turned out to be an "eco-friendly move."

    Saundra Wordlaw

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  8. This is, undoubtedly, a unique green roof. I see you’ve done a careful research for it. Well, picking a prickly pear, which is one of the toughest plants on the planet, as you mentioned, is a brilliant choice. Your roof looks wonderful! I can already smell the freshness and safety at your house. Those plants can protect you literally from harm and bad people. Haha! Good job, my friend!

    Santo Caridine

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  9. It doesn’t look like dabbled work to me. I actually think it is smart. Putting up a green roof isn’t as easy as planting or installing green tiles onto the roof. Choosing what plant to place is essential. How many have put cactus on their roofs? You’re only one of the few I can think of. I’m sure your roof will stand out with those plants! :D

    Cody Charlebois

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  10. You are apparently a fan of plants and trees, buddy. I can tell from your pictures. I see green everywhere! I’m always glad to see and meet people who are so devoted to a greener environment. I adore you guys and your delicate green roof. It’s definitely one of the best and most unique green roofs I’ve ever seen!

    Lino Kosters

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  18. Let's see how happy they are with this in 20 years when the cactus have quadrupled in weight and the roof collapses on top of the next homeowner, impaling them with that madness. There is a requirement for construction which naturally includes rationalism and sanit.

    ReplyDelete