The Green Lab

The Green Lab

“To survive these conditions, we chose plants that can tolerate periods of drought, or that die off during extreme drought but then regenerate when the rains come.

Plants that are shallow-rooted are also well-suited to green roofs, particularly ones that are mat-forming and that grow roots from their stems where they touch the soil. Low-growing plants also tend to fare better in the wind.”

Our Green Lab (Previously known as the Green Roof Demonstration) Garden was completed in May 2014 and launched in July 2014 with a talk from local ecologist and Green Roof expert, Dr Colin Meurk. The roofs were designed by Greening the Rubble staff using a range of techniques and plants.

Growing conditions on a roof are pretty challenging if you are a plant, as it’s windy, dry and very well-drained. Also, the growing medium can only be very shallow because of weight constraints on the roof structure.

To survive these conditions, we chose plants that can tolerate periods of drought, or that die off during extreme drought but then regenerate when the rains come. Plants that are shallow-rooted are also well-suited to green roofs, particularly ones that are mat-forming and that grow roots from their stems where they touch the soil. Low-growing plants also tend to fare better in the wind.

We planted the roofs initially in autumn, which was ideal as the cooler weather enabled the plants to acclimatise and establish. We gave the plants additional water for the first year to give them the best chance of survival, but ideally after that first year, no supplementary water should be required.

We also chose plants that need as little care as possible and layers were used to ensure rain water is captured but does not make the structure damp. You can see an example of the layering technique attached to the shed wall.

Partners: Sustainable Habitat Construction (SHAC), Christchurch City Council, Life in Vacant Spaces Trust

Location: 18 Cranmer Square

Date launched: 26th July 2014

Date removed: Still there! 😉

Built by Honest Means

Huge thanks to:

Briford Trailers Logo

ccc masthead-logo

New Zealand Department of Conservation Logo

Hireking Logo

Hyalite

Living Earth Logo

Life in Vacant Spaces LIVS Logo

Rata Foundation Logo

Resene is an epic sponsor to the volunteering community

WaterForce Logo