Building a Green Roof in Lithuania


  • James N. FERGUSON Senojo Miesto Architektai (SMA)



Green roofs, sustainable design, architecture


Green roofs are relatively new to Lithuania. Traditionally, such earth structures were used for partially submerged food cellars and bomb shelters. However, one sees more and more architects opting for green roofs as an alternative to large flat roofs. The advantages are many fold. A green roof is not only a pleasing aesthetic alternative, but it helps retain thermal energy and provides for better surface drainage for expansive roofed structures. This paper examines the origins, basic principles and benefits of green roofs, noting examples and a chart indicating various green roof systems. The international standard is largely set by the Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landshaftsbau e. V., or more simply FLL, first developed in Germany in the 1970s. I have designed five green roof projects in Lithuania. Two are located in Trakai, two in Vilnius, and one in the Ignalina region. Precedents are cited, along with photos, technical drawings, structural details, materials specifications and the ecological benefits these roofs provide in urban and rural environments. In conclusion, green roofs are a relative low cost alternative to flat roofs, which provide greatly enhanced benefits. As a result, European cities have set targets for the percentage of green roofs constructed each year, and the European Union has offered financial aid and assistance in meeting these targets. Hopefully, this will encourage more Lithuanian developers, architects, and engineers to consider green roofs as a viable solution.