Chicken Coop Green Roof

Some Background on the Role of Green Roofs

Predominantly utilized in urban environments, green roofs provide growing spaces integrated into residential and commercial uses. Urban green roofs help moderate the urban heat island effect which occurs when built areas experience hotter temperatures than surrounding green spaces and increases energy demand in the summer months.

Green roofs are able to cool urban areas because plants absorb sunlight that would otherwise be converted to heat energy. Urban green roofs help mitigate particulates and the production of smog by capturing airborne pollutants and filtering noxious gases, as well as capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Well-designed green roofs substantially lower storm water management costs. In the non-urban environment, green roofs offer many of the same benefits.

A green roof is a roof covered with a vegetative layer, a growth medium, and filtration and drainage layers underneath. These layers rest on a waterproof barrier to protect the roof from damage (Figure 1 on right).


Our green roof has the potential to grow vegetables that can reduce further our carbon footprint with less miles driven to the market. Planted with native plants, it provides provisions for wildlife and compliments surrounding wildlife habitat.

Despite its small size, the Armstrong coop green roof demonstrates that green roofs have a multitude of applications. Depending on the goals and needs of the homeowner, green roofs can vary in size, style, and function. The two most commonly known green roofs are extensive and intensive. Generally speaking, extensive green roofs are intended to be self-sustaining, and require little maintenance. Extensive green roofs are planted with hardy sedums and shrubby plants that are able to thrive in a variety of conditions. In contrast, intensive green roofs can be used for growing a wider variety of foliage and food crops and because of weight and construction requirements, tend to be more costly and require maintenance including irrigation and fertilization.

Construction of the Armstrong Green Roof

The primary components of the Armstrong House green roof are the same as mentioned earlier, including the waterproof membrane, growth media, and drainage. For the waterproof membrane, it was constructed using a 45mil EPDM pond liner that is normally used for roofing, and can be used as a pond liner because it does not leach, and ideally, is the easiest way to waterproof a roof. The drainage fabric was sourced from Conservation Technology. The growth media used was Rooflite product. New Milford Farms assisted by mixing and delivering it to the site. The seeds were obtained from Ernst Seeds, which specializes in seeds native to the Northeast.

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Useful Links:

  • Types of Green Roofs: This link provides helpful information regarding an overview of different sizes, styles, and functions. Depending on the type, the individual links provide useful information about the Rooflite growing media. The product can be mixed to the proper specifications and delivered by New Milford Farms.
  • Conservation Technology Green Roof Components: The drainage fabric used for the green roof can be found here, along with a wide range of water retention systems which may be necessary for the roof depending the slope and amount of growing media.
  • Conservation Technology Handbook: This provides a comprehensive and in-depth overview of green roofs, and provides a step-by-step instruction guide for installation.
  • EDPM Waterproof Membrane: This EDPM waterproofing material is the easiest way of waterproofing the green roof.
  • Recommended Green Roof Plant Species: This link provides a list of recommended green roof plants species from the New York City parks department.
  • Ernst Seeds: The seeds used for the Armstrong green roof were sourced from Ernst seeds. They specialize in seeds native to the Northeast, with reasonable prices.


Click here to visit the Armstrong Garden Page

Click here to visit the Chicken Flock and Chicken Coop Page