GREEN ROOF & PLANTERS Back to Product Categories





 Although green roof systems generally contain certain basic components, the location of these components, materials they are made from, and whether they are present or not varies widely from one installation to another. The description below will discuss the components, materials, and locations, which are in common use.


The roof and roof garden must have an underlying structural support such as concrete, wood, or other normal building material. The structural engineer must consider the load of the roof garden system. 

Various roofing membrane options are available to the design engineer. The membrane choice may be affected by loads imposed by the rooftop garden, by available membrane protection elements in the rooftop garden system, by root penetration properties of the membrane, and by membrane drainage and aeration requirements.

The roofing membrane may need protection from installation damage, long-term water exposure, UV exposure, drainage medium loads, or growing medium loads or chemical properties.

A root barrier may be required between the growing medium and lower components to eliminate or minimize root penetration into the roofing membrane, drainage medium, or water storage medium. The optimum location is above the membrane, drainage medium, and water storage medium so that all three components are protected. Alternate locations may require multiple roof guard elements to avoid long-term root penetration. 

Insulation may be installed above the structural support, depending on the thermal design of the structure. It may be installed above or below the roofing membrane.


Drainage is essential to manage water content in the growing medium. Too much water will cause root rot. Too little water will result in poor vegetation growth. Drainage medium options range from gravel to various materials designed specifically for this purpose. Plastic materials usually combine the drainage function with water storage and aeration, with added root protection to the roofing membrane and protect the membrane from potentially damaging materials in the growing medium.

Aeration is essential to promote optimal vegetation growth. The aeration layer is created when the drainage channel is empty.

Green roofs are typically designed with 2" - 6" of soil medium. Although the growing medium will store some water additional water storage will provide more successful growth of vegetation. Most prefabricated plastic roof garden products have water storage capability.

Various natural and manufactured materials may be used as a growing medium. Soil is often mixed with other material to reduce weight, to provide better structure for roots, and to provide essential nutrients, water, and oxygen.

The visible layer of the roof garden system is the vegetation. A wide variety of typical landscaping and garden plants may be used for a roof top garden. An experienced landscape architect should be involved in plant selection to insure vegetation is appropriate both for the geographic region and for a roof top garden environment. The type of vegetation affects the selection of the other components of the roof garden system. Such issues as root protection, water and aeration needs, and drainage requirements are affected by plant selection and vice versa.


AMERGREEN Roof Garden prefabricated drains combine all the essential elements required for roof garden designs. AMERGREEN green roof products consist of a formed and perforated core covered with a soil filter layer and a fabric protection layer. By design, AMERGREEN products offer intensive and extensive solutions that incorporate drainage, water storage, aeration and membrane protection in an easy to install, lightweight, long-lasting and cost effective design. 
AMERGREEN products can contribute toward LEED design initiatives for stormwater management capabilities and recycled materials.

The soil filter fabric allows excess water from the growing medium to drain while retaining small particles from entering the water flow channel created by the drainage core. AMERGREEN products use a standard soil filter fabric. AMERGREEN RS products incorporate a natural root inhibitor into the filter fabric, preventing root penetration into water retention reservoirs, drainage channels and offering additional protection to the entire system design. 

The molded and perforated core provides water retention, high-flow drainage capacity and an aeration channel which play important functions for a healthy roof garden. 

The protection fabric provides additional protection to the waterproofing membrane and prevents membrane intrusion into the drainage flow channel.
AMERGREEN 50 / 100 products provide a physical root barrier to prevent or minimize root penetration by plantings with low-to-moderately aggressive root structures.
AMERGREEN 50RS / 100RS products provide a treated root barrier to prevent or minimize root penetration by plantings with moderate-to-highly aggressive root structures. 


Root rot is a common cause of dead plants found in commercial planters.  While green roofs have low soil depths for water retention, commercial planters are typically deep and the soil can retain large amounts of water making it necessary to create positive drainage. Planters are restricted containers that typically have one exit point which is located at the bottom of the container. When plants are placed in any kind of restricted container, over time, the super fine soil within the organic soil builds a layer just below the soil surface where water cannot penetrate and allows excess water to surround the existing roots.
AMERGREEN Planter drains are prefabricated products that create an air space around the sides and base of commercial planters. This allows for fast and efficient drainage by allowing water to drain from all sides of the planter, eliminating the “corking effect” created by soil fines. AMERGREEN products will also provide a secondary drainage system on the sides of the planter container, protecting it from structural damage incurred during natural freeze, thaw cycles and extending the overall life of the container.
AMERGREEN W / T prefabricated drains for commercial planters are constructed with a formed polymeric core with a filter fabric bonded to one side. The fabric is securely bonded to each dimple and prevents soil intrusion in the water flow channel. AMERGREEN prefabricated sheet drains provide superior drainage, eliminate root rot from oversaturated soils and extends the structural life of the planter. AMERGREEN products can contribute toward LEED design initiatives for storm water management capabilities and recycled materials.
AMERGREEN-T uses a nonwoven, spun-bonded filter fabric and provides excellent filtration for fine soil particles.
AMERGREEN-W is constructed with the industry standard woven monofilament filter fabric that provides outstanding filtration for organic soil applications.

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