The location of your green roof or wall also plays a big part in determining which plants, products and materials are best suited to achieve your vision. Groof can visit the site and conduct a 'SWOT' analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to identify the right location or review your preferred location. Key considerations include:
the size and dimensions of the site and/or host building
access to the site and the green roof or wall space
access to sunlight
access to water; and
views to and from the site
Some green roofs and walls are retro-fitted onto existing buildings and others start as architectural designs for brand new buildings. In both cases, an initial site visit is an important step during the early stages of your project and will usually take an hour or so. Groof then uses information gathered during the site visit and needs analysis to prepare a design brief.
The size, scale and location of your project typically determines the amount of documentation that you and your team rely on to complete the job - a small residential green wall or balcony garden generally requires less documentation than a large commercial green roof or rooftop garden.
Different documents are used by different people across the life of your project to convey the information that each person needs to get their part of the job done. It's important to remember there may be many different tradespeople and professionals involved in the design, construction and maintenance of your asset and they use different types of maps, plans and schedules to identify and understand what goes where.
Groof identifies the information needed to achieve your vision and sources and liaises with the right people to bring these documents together. Documentation sourced and reviewed by Groof can include:
Concept design: rough outlines, sketches, key elements
Detailed plans: materials schedule, plant species, product specifications
Engineering/weight loading plans and specifications
Safety, security and fall-arrest systems
Drainage and irrigation plans
Town planning reports; and
You may have spoken previously with a number of professionals and tradespeople about your project and even had some documentation prepared. Groof can review these documents, identify any gaps and help you make sense of your information.
Even a small green roof in your backyard or a green wall on your balcony may require some level of permission or approval before you get started to make sure it's safe and appropriate for the site. The long-term success of your project depends on a range of interdependent factors which may require sign-off by a number of qualified professionals and tradespeople. As with documentation, the size and location of your project determines the level and type of approval required before, during and after the construction of your elevated green space.
Groof identifies the permits your project will need, helps prepare your application material for submission and liaises with the people who process your application to get a result as quickly as possible. In addition to meeting any state and local government requirements, you may also need to obtain consent from your Owners Corporation. Groof can prepare and present material to these decision makers to help get your project over the line. Getting support for your project from those who matter is fundamental to making it happen.
Some plants are capable of growing on roofs and walls without any intervention from people at all. These plants are often regarded as weeds because they can look untidy and may eventually damage their host building. For plants to thrive and enhance the life of their building, some level of human intervention is usually required.
Australia's emerging green roof and wall industry is providing an increasing range of products and some are better than others. Some work well in certain situations but are not very well suited elsewhere. Some perform flawlessly when correctly matched with other products but fail when they are incorrectly combined. Some include long-term warranties when installed correctly and others are simply purchased off-the-shelf.
The long-term success of a project often depends to a large extent on how effectively various products work together as part an integrated system. Getting the right combination of products working together is vital to keeping your asset looking good and to save unnecessary time and costs down the track.
As an independent consultant with access to an extensive network of suppliers, Groof can identify and source the right products and systems for your project. If you have already identified potential products, Groof can work with you to assess their suitability and make recommendations based on your vision and project budget.
There are potentially a number of people who will contribute their knowledge, skills and labour to the construction of your project. From electricians, waterproofers and master builders to plumbers, landscapers and architects, each plays their part within a larger team to bring your project to its overall completion. Just as all the various products in your system must work together to ensure it thrives, the construction team must also work in concert to ensure your products are installed correctly and in the right order.
Keeping the construction schedule on track and within budget can often be a challenge, particularly when unpredictable factors such as bad weather, product delivery delays or the unexpected absence of a key contractor intervenes. Groof can manage the construction phase of your project as the single point of contact and provide you with regular updates on how it's progressing.
A simple green wall or balcony greening project may only take a couple of days to install, whereas a complex green roof or rooftop garden may take a couple weeks or even months. Groof keeps your project moving and gets the job done as quickly as possible by overseeing the construction schedule whilst maintaining a strict focus on quality.
Even a project that is cleverly designed with excellent products and perfect plants can fall apart if it is not properly maintained. From simple timber trellises on garage walls to sprawling rooftop oases, the benefits that flow from your asset are ultimately determined by the quality of the maintenance it receives.
As with any other asset, regular and routine maintenance is essential to ensure your green infrastructure performs to its maximum potential. A well designed, constructed and maintained green roof or wall will last for many decades and protect the facade of its host building for as long as the building stands.
The ownership of a building can change numerous times throughout its life and an effective handover between maintenance contractors is essential for green infrastructure to survive and thrive. Groof can produce a maintenance manual to provide contractors with the information they need to keep your asset in top condition. Groof can also provide ongoing maintenance of your asset or show you how it's done.If you have concerns about how well your rooftop or balcony garden is going or are worried your green roof or wall is in decline, Groof can diagnose the issues and formulate a solution to bring your asset back from the brink. At Groof, we care about doing maintenance well and ensuring you get the most out of your investment in valuable green space.
Green roofs and walls come in many shapes and sizes, with each one requiring different inputs to construct and maintain. In return, green roofs and walls provide a range of benefits which may or may not be appropriate to achieve the outcomes you seek. Groof helps identify the right green roof or wall for your project by asking a series of questions including:
what is your vision for your green roof or wall
what is your budget for construction; and
how much time and money are you prepared to spend to maintain your asset and enjoy the benefits you seek?
Depending on the size of your project, it may take as little as half an hour to clarify your needs. If you need more information to help you get there, Groof can assist by presenting a range of options.