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This fact sheet is one of a 15-part series on urban stormwater management practices.
Please refer to definitions in the glossary at the end of this fact sheet. Glossary terms are italicized on first mention in the text. For a comprehensive list, see Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publication 426-119, “Urban Stormwater: Terms and Definitions.”
A vegetated roof (VR) is a best management practice (BMP) that reduces stormwater runoff and pollution. Vegetation and media create a permeable system on a previously impervious surface. The VR intercepts rainfall and filters runoff while reducing the volume and velocity. Vegetated roofs consist of a waterproofing barrier, drainage system, and engineered growing media. There are two types of VRs: intensive and extensive. Intensive vegetated roofs are deeper and heavier, while extensive vegetated roofs are shallower, lighter, and more common (see Figure 1). The type of VR determines the amount of maintenance necessary to maintain the vegetation.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
September 6, 2013