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Green green, the rooftops are green

by Tia

As cities embrace the value of sustainable development by focusing on environmental protection and uplifting the aesthetics of urban living, green roofs are becoming increasingly important components of modern urban landscapes.

Fibertex – specialists in the development of a wide range of nonwovens, geosynthetics and performance-based materials – plays an important role in providing geosynthetic solutions that are critical in the success of rooftop gardens.

“The Fibertex team works closely with specialists – including landscape architects, local planning authorities and horticulture experts – to provide rooftop gardening solutions that meet exact requirements in virtually any type of roof structure in domestic and commercial buildings,” says Brian Potgieter, Technical Sales Engineer, Fibertex South Africa. “Fibertex geosynthetic products are suitable for new buildings and retro-fit projects, providing numerous benefits, including higher property values, aesthetic charm, rainwater management and temperature regulation. Rooftop gardens also reduce air pollutants that cause smog and when planted with indigenous flora, roof gardens provide important habitats for birds and insects.”

Fibertex offers a range of solutions tailored to specific needs and preferences. Popular low-maintenance, extensive green roofs are built for ecological benefits. While they don’t offer a usable space, they improve air quality, soften the building’s appearance and help manage rainwater by capturing and potentially even storing it. Green roofs also contribute to better sound insulation and temperature control. Extensive green roof systems are characteristically lightweight, with saturated loadings ranging from 80 – 120 kg per m².

Unlike Extensive systems, Intensive roofs can be designed much like a ground-level garden, complete with trees, lawns, flowers and walking paths. The main limitation is how much weight the building can support. These types of roofs are becoming more popular in modern buildings, especially on top of basements and parking garages – often called podium decks. These landscaped areas create valuable extra usable space in urban environments.

Fibertex drainage solutions encompass geosynthetic materials that play a crucial role in the success of green roofs by providing reliable separation, filtration, and drainage functionalities, ensuring optimal performance in diverse environmental conditions. Effective drainage is critical to the success of every rooftop garden by ensuring optimal soil moisture levels and preventing waterlogging.

The Fibertex range of rooftop products includes Deckdrain 1200S/NW8 & 700SN/NW8 and Cavidrain S8Umaterials that facilitate water filtration and serve as a protective barrier for roof membranes, safeguarding against water damage and ensuring the long-term success of green infrastructure.

Cavidrain S8U is a cavity drainage material that consists of a high-performance single cuspated High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) drainage core. This durable drainable membrane provides an external drainage layer between an underground construction and the ground itself. Alternatively, it can be used as a drainage layer to collect seepage between a porous or leaking wall, tunnel lining or floor screed or slab.

The core is cuspated to form a network of drainage channels, which allow seepage water to flow on the rear side, safely away to outlets.

Cavidrain is available from Fibertex in rolls 2,2 m x 50 m and is suitable for both refurbishment work and in new build applications.

Deckdrain 1200S & 700SN/NW8 is a geocomposite drainage layer also comprising a single cuspated HDPE drainage core, with a nonwoven geotextile filter thermally bonded to one side. The geotextile filter has a flap that extends beyond the core on one edge. The product, which is practically impermeable on one side, is used as an engineered drainage layer in many structural applications, including roof gardens. Deckdrain is available in standard roll dimensions of 1,1 m x 50 m or 2,2 m x 25 m with other sizes on request.

Through the local Fibertex team’s flexible geosynthetic solutions, cities around Africa are achieving green roof gardens that will contribute to greener, more sustainable cities for generations to come.

Fibertex geotextile products are manufactured using virgin polypropylene fibres, ensuring durability, strength and resistance to environmental factors. The company’s commitment to environmental responsibility by minimising harmful effects on the environment is evidenced by ISO 14001 certification.

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