How well do you know your green roofing?< Back to Blog

If you’ve been following Sheriff’s story over the last few years, then by now you should be quite familiar with the term ‘green roofing’. But, did you know there’s more than one type?

In fact, there are a great many variations of this roofing option, most of which are described as being advantageous for the environment, cost-efficient, improving the quality of life for building users and looking great too.

Without wishing to go into lots of detail about all the variations, it can be useful to know how a ‘green roof’ generally falls within one of four categories. Here’s a summary of each:


Extensive Green Roof

Look at an extensive green roof from a distance and you might easily mistake it for a grass field. That’s because this type of roof simply features a covering of low-growing plants (e.g. evergreen sedums).

Often coming in a pre-grown form, these systems are easy to install, create a striking visual impact and provide a great natural habitat for birds and insects.



Semi-Intensive Green Roof

In addition to the low-growing wildflowers and sedum found on an extensive roof, semi-intensive green roofing uses more soil and small shrubbery.

This slightly more diverse option can be used to create something like a garden layout on a roof (with paths, lawn and flowers) and encourages a wider range of plant and animal species to flourish in its environment.



Intensive Green Roof

By increasing the soil depth (often to over 150mm), intensive green roofs can support any type of plant (including trees) along with paths and other hard surfaces – making this a great option for roofing areas designed as leisure spaces.

Creative designs can feature everything from bee hives and ponds to children’s play areas and benches. With so many options on an intensive green roof, you may forget that you’re on a roof at all!



Brown Roof

Replicating the ecosystem of a brownfield site, brown roofing presents several options. You can go for a pre-sown version which includes wildflower seeds that will bloom and attract insects during the spring/summer. Or you can start with a soil surface which over time will come to be populated by local seeds transported by the wind. The brown roof also gives the option of recycling building rubble/ materials or placing specific features that encourage biodiversity (e.g. log piles or small sand dunes).


Sheriff Construction is an approved and experienced installer of a wide variety of green roofing systems.

To find out more, take a look at our Green and Biodiversity page here or give us a call on 01582 591908.