What Does A Sedum Roof Cost?

A sedum roof is a wonderful thing – but what does it cost in time and money? And is it really worth it?

How much time does it take to make a sedum roof?

The time it takes all depends on

a)      the size of the project

b)      the structure and integrity of the roof

c)       the green roof buildup

d)      the amount of labour available

Assuming that you have a sturdy building, fully waterproofed and with some sort of edging or upstand on the roof, it really shouldn’t take long.

For example:  using a simple sedum matting buildup ie layers of drainage mat, water retention mat and sedum blanket;

Two people could install a green roof onto a garden shed within a couple of hours. 

The layers needed to build a simple sedum roof.  Aside from the sedum blanket – which can be quite heavy, each layer is lightweight and easy to handle.  Drainage mat can be installed very quickly indeed, water retention mat is often stitched to the back of the sedum matting.  Once lifted into position, sedum mats need only be unrolled and manouvred into place to give instant plant coverage.

If mechanical lifting equipment is on site, A typical kitchen extension could be green-roofed by two people in an afternoon.

Adding value to a property

Whenever money is spent on a property, it’d be good to think that the building’s value will increase.

If a carefully landscaped garden can increase selling prices by as much as 5% then it makes sense that a well maintained green roof could have a similar effect.

According to the organisation Green Roofs For Healthy Cities   a green roof can improve the saleability of a property.  It can also increase its market value because of reduced running costs.

Adding credibility

For an organisation, it makes perfect sense to show off your environmental credentials with a living roof.  That applies to office buildings and factories as much as it does to visitor centres, smoking shelters and bike sheds.

This sedum green roof atop Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge offers a whole host of tangible and intangible benefits to the building and its occupants. 

Reducing Carbon Footprint

Not every cost is counted in pounds and pence.  What about the cost to the environment.  I have read (and I can’t remember where) that a sedum roof becomes carbon neutral after 7 years.  So all the energy expended in producing the components, transporting them to site and installing them, is negated in a relatively short time.  I wonder what the time scale is for the rest of the building?

Cost of Installation

OK now we get to the nitty gritty on pricing.

At the time of writing, (January 2017) the materials for a sedum roof buildup cost around £35-£40 per square metre.  Plus a bit extra for delivery.

Labour is probably around £200 per person per day – depending on who you hire.

Now, if you’re completing a small project – a garden shed for example – you might not need paid labour.  In the true spirit of ecology and community, you may be able to do some skills-swapping.  In my case, It would be asking my Son to help out in return for me looking after his children and baking him a cake or seven.

Worth it?

I would say yes – but then I’m biased.  Have a read of some testimonials, get a quote for materials and decide for yourself.