Friday, October 10, 2008

KISSS for Green Roof Applications

There is a new product by the KISSS group that is well suited to green roof applications. It is called Ebb and Flow mat

The KISSS Ebb and Flow Mat represents a giant leap forward in green roof technology. The mat is an integrated extensive green roof system that provides not only irrigation, but drainage and root protection. The Ebb and Flow Mat has several advantages over other systems, Most importantly, it is an "active" drainage system that intelligently manages the moisture level of your green roof soils. Additionally, this system is the most cost effective system on the market today.

The KISSS Ebb and Flow System is simple to install and saves a tremendous amount of labour. Additionally, it is easy to work with in the event that a roof leak should occur.
Simply roll out the Ebb and Flow mat onto the roof and overlap the mats as shown below. Finally, install your drainage system. Then you have an active drainage system, irrigation system, and root barrier all in the one system.

The KISSS Ebb and Flow Advantage
The perfect solution for an extensive green roof on structures that are sensitive to water loading. This system provides an active drainage layer while elimination water holding on structure.
Integrated design and roll out installation reduces labour and eliminates the need for many of the standard components within other green roof systems, making it the lightest and most economical system in the market today.
The system can be manufactured to be compatible with conventional green roof systems and add supplementary drainage, as well as effective irrigation.

An ideal system for green building initiatives like LEED.

Light weight, flexibility, and low cost make it a prefect fit for any retro-fit with a restrictive weight allowance or budget.

Green Roof Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?
The KISSS Green Roof product irrigates the soil media above it, and assists in the drainage of the soil to keep it at optimum moisture content. It does this without the soil being saturated, as saturated soil forces out air. Air in the soil media is just as important as water to plants, and especially on a roof where the minimum amount of soil media should be used to minimize the loading on the roof, and maximize the run-off in heavy rainfall. The difference between the KISSS system and other green roof irrigation systems is that it can drain the soil media at a gentle rate, and if the media is drier than the irrigation system, the system will provide more water to the media via capillary action. This keeps the top few centimetres reasonably dry which reduces evaporation and weeds germinating, but keeps the lower layers moist which encourages deeper root growth.

What soil/media can be used?
Plants of any kind can be grown on a green roof and the only limiting factors are enough soil media for support, moisture, air and nutrients. We suggest a light weight media product and there are a few in the market eg
CocoEarth media mixed with sands of a particular grade to give stability and hold water and nutrients that are required. These can be provided by the installer.

How durable is the material?
The materials in the KISSS product are not biodegradable. They are synthetics that are made from polyester and polyethylene and do not break down in soil and do not compress easily. The materials are made in such a manner so that the water and nutrients runs along the fibres but do not fill the fibres and only the pore spaces in between the fibres hold the water, soil and nutrients.

What about roots damaging the materials?

Roots can invade the materials and run between the fibres, but will not penetrate the fibres themselves therefore the fibres still maintain their functions. The drip line that is in the system to supply the water to the geotextiles is encased in the geotextile for protection and also to make sure the water flows uninhibited across the fibres. The system is made to encourage the roots to invade the system to provide a source of water and nutrients and not to just rely on the soil above the system.

Can the system provide nutrients to the soil/media?

Liquid injection can be used with the KISSS system to add nutrients at any time. The benefit of the KISSS system is that the roots are in direct contact with the fibres in the system so that if nutrients are supplied through the water then the roots get access to these in solution immediately, thereby reducing the amount of fertiliser required. Controlled release fertilisers can be used on top of the plant material or soil media and the rainfall and moisture in the atmosphere will make these available over time, but 30% less fertiliser will be required than the rate for potted plants.

What can I grow on the green roof?

You can grow just about anything from lawn to shrubs to small trees to cactus to ferns to veggies for the family and it all depends on what you want and the aspect and climate of your roof. The simplest solution is to just turf your roof and have a veggie patch or flower garden. Small areas can be grown with a simple UV stabilised corflute structure that can be laid out on the mat and filled with media and planted out with whatever you desire.

What if I don’t want a green roof but want to grow my veggies or herbs?
KISSS has an answer with the combination of their ebb and flow mat and the veggie box on the mat. This can be planted out with flowers, herbs or veggies. The unit is 4.5m long by 1.2m wide and 200mm high. It can produce a wide range of veggies and herbs for all the family and can sit in the backyard on the ground and be connected to the tap and only requires two irrigation cycles of one hour each per week in summer and once a week in winter. It uses drip technology inside the ebb and flow mat to spread the water to the soil. The Cocoearth media is optional and can also be sent in the mail and you will require 12 blocks for a 4.5m long unit costing $80 plus postage and handling. Nutrients can be added by liquid form or organic fertiliser mixed in by shovel or chemical fertiliser as slow release. The corflute box is UV stabilised and light weight, and the system will last for 7 years under normal sunlight if the materials are not damaged by mechanical means or animals.
For more details see -

1 comment:

Richard Boles said...

A few flower patches would be perfect in case someone goes for that! All these greening projects for building walls and roofs have been trending for the past years, but only a few have actually implemented it. I wonder if this could be a drawback for the idea.