Ever asked yourself the question – ‘I want to build a green roof…but it all seems so complicated.’ If so, then this DIY Green Roof Guide may be perfect for you, wherever you are in the world.

This online guide is designed to meet the needs of DIY enthusiasts, builders, and landscape contractors who want to build green roofs.

This website based guide builds on the material in the original downloadable pdf – The DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs which was published in 2008. The information contained in the original guide has been updated with new elements with more sketches and now multi-media input such as videos and is accessible in the members section online.

An Online Guide to Constructing Your Own Small Scale Green Roof

The intention of the Small Scale DIY Green Roof Guide is to take some of the mystery out of how to build a green roof. Many sites that sell green roof products can confuse people.

This is why the first edition of the green roof guide was published. The authors were both getting numerous emails from people wanting to do a green roof. However, it was evident that the main stumbling block was a lack of confidence and confusion on what layer went precisely where and why?

So this online guide has been created to:

  • Give confidence to prospective green roofers
  • Provide the principles behind why certain things are needed (or not) so choices can be made
  • Simple step by step instructions (down to what nails and screws to use)
  • Detailed construction illustrations

What’s in the Small Scale Green Roof Guide?

The structure of the guide is very simple. In essence, it is a step by step guide for each stage of building a DIY green roof by:

  • Retrofitting an existing shed,
  • Retrofitting on to an existing extension or other building,
  • Engaging in a new small build.

Elements covered in detail in the online DIY Green Roof Guide include:

The Roof

  • From the joists up
  • Deck


  • Laying the waterproofing
  • Protecting the waterproofing

Edge Detail

  • A step-by-step guide to each part of the edge/fascia detail


  • How to ensure good drainage from a green roof.
  • Various approaches are discussed and explained in detail so the constructor can make the appropriate decision to meet their requirements. There are ‘conventions’ in the green roof industry that say that certain methods are standard, but this is not necessarily the case.


  • Guide to how to install irrigation if needed.


  • Choice of growing medium, substrate, soil.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of various materials, systems and approaches


  • Planting options from turfs, blankets, bulbs, seeds, plug plants.
  • National and regional lists.


  • Guidance on maintenance for various treatments.


Learn more at GreenRoofTraining.com.