As most professionals in the construction industry are aware, ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) provides written standards by which all building materials and methods for all construction projects must comply. While such standards for green roofs have been available in Europe for many years, they have been developed only recently in the United States and are in many ways still evolving.

The standards now available are listed below.  Please follow the links for more information.

ASTM E2400 – 06

Standard Guide for Selection, Installation, and Maintenance of Plants for Green Roof Systems

ASTM E2396 – 05

Standard Test Method for Saturated Water Permeability of Granular Drainage Media [Falling-Head Method] for Green Roof Systems

ASTM E2398 – 05

Standard Test Method for Water Capture and Media Retention of Geo-composite Drain Layers for Green Roof Systems

ASTM E2397 – 05

Standard Practice for Determination of Dead Loads and Live Loads associated with Green Roof Systems

ASTM E2399 – 05

Standard Test Method for Maximum Media Density for Dead Load Analysis of Green Roof Systems


LEED is an internationally recognized green building rating system offering certification at different levels according to building performance across several categories.   Projects earn points for credits in each category which leads to a building certification at a certain level.   LEED certification for new construction or major renovations is now required by some states and local governments throughout the US.
Besides the many advantages a green roof provides in its own right, installing a green roof on a building can contribute significantly to earning points according to the LEED rating system.

Including a green roof in your construction plans definitively can contribute to earning the following LEED credits:

SS 5.2 Site Development – Maximize Open Space
SS 6.1 Stormwater Design – Quantity Control
SS 6.2 Stormwater Design – Quality Control
SS 7.2 Heat Island Effect – Roof
WE 1 Water Efficient Landscaping (Opt 1 and Opt 2)
EA 1 Optimize Energy Performance
MR 5 Regional Materials
MR 6 Rapidly Renewable Resources

The LEED rating system also considers the advantages that one element of a design can provide across multiple credits.   The LEED system refers to these as “synergies”.   Some of the additional advantages a green roof offers to a project include:

▪ reduction of roof rainwater runoff

▪ reduction of heat-island effects

▪ reduction of cooling loads by buffering roof membrane from sun exposure and through evapotranspiration <– this can reduce electric power demand and permit downsizing of cooling equipment and save costs

▪ protection of the waterproofing membrane and roofing components from the elements to prolong the life of the roof

▪ an added layer of insulation to prevent the escape of conditioned air from the building

▪ aesthetic appeal

▪ can communicate leadership in sustainability in the community

▪ provides habitat for birds and other wildlife


To learn more about LEED certification for your project, please click here to visit their website.


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