264 Exterior Green Roof Material Flat Roofline Design Photos And Ideas

Winkelman Architecture delivers grown-up summer-camp vibes with this unassuming retreat on the coast of Maine.
Inspired by ancient ruins, Frankie Pappas crafts a green-roofed, brick guesthouse that connects deeply with nature in the South African Bushveld.
A concrete block tower in the garden beside the home contains a water tank and solar heating boiler with a shower below.
The home requires very little maintenance and features a lightweight construction. The modularity of the design also helped to avoid excessive material waste during construction.
Top 10 Sustainable Homes of 2020: From a carbon-negative cabin to a prefab farmhouse, these resourceful designs captivated readers this year.
The exposed concrete framework cantilevers dramatically from the stone walls.
"In a sense, we treated earth as one of our materials," says Vaitsos. "We figured out how much earth we needed to excavate in order to position this house here. And then we used it to transform the landscape a little bit." This was done to create as little waste as possible.
Each cell denotes a different area inside the house below it and is planted with a different species of aromatic plant from which essential oils can be extracted. The landscaped roof also helps to insulate the home and blend it into the environment.
The circular insertions are custom operable skylights that allow for daylighting and passive cooling.
The Orchard Corral is just below the house, and is home to a large grove of olive trees for olive oil and white wine production. Many of the island restaurants serve the olive oil.
A house in Sydney combats climate change with its own ecosystem.
Niki Bergen and two of her children run up the hill by the guesthouse she and her partner, Andrew Zuckerman, built on their upstate New York property. The structure was designed by Levenbetts, the architecture firm also responsible for the older main house nearby.
“Our creative process is rooted in a process of questioning and listening, and we design our architecture based on values, not a particular aesthetic style,” says architect Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed. “It is why this home is almost tailor made for our client.”
Working with local professionals, materials, and techniques helped the project stay on budget, as the home was designed and constructed based on resources already present in the region.
Carefully placed windows punctuate the minimalistic walls, creating a sensitive relationship between the interior spaces and the landscape.
The clay used to construct the walls doesn’t just have a structural role— it also creates various textures that help the home blend into the surrounding landscape. To keep within budget, the structure of the home was kept as simple as possible—with the notable exception of the soaring vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom.
“Genius loci is one of our approaches to sustainability,” says architect Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed. As a result of this approach, materials were sourced hyper locally—such as stones from the River Ter.
“We investigated past examples—the works of the maestros who did a similar exercise in investigating and understanding vernacular Mediterranean architecture in order to interpret it to the way of living of their time,” explains architect Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed. “Architects worth mentioning here are Josep Antoni Coderch, Josep Lluis Sert, Lanfranco Bombelli, Barba Corsini, and Antoni Bonet i Castellana.”
“It was very important for both us and the client to touch the natural environment as little as possible—including the trees, land, and vegetation,” says architect Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed. “This is why the house is positioned on the flattest part of the plot, so it doesn’t touch the forest found on the higher part of the site.”
The firm wanted the materiality of the cabin to be "in harmony with the site," says Shaw. "So, that over time, the building could weather gracefully and the site around it would change, and they would do so in tandem."
The materials were kept simple: a foundation of board-formed concrete that reveals the wood grain of the boards used to make it, Cor-Ten steel siding that will develop a characterful patina, and rafters made of hemlock, a local species. "In terms of materials, we wanted the full exterior of the building to be something that would weather gracefully, that required very little maintenance, and that had a long life cycle," says Shaw.
Sited on a rock ledge, the Far Cabin’s screened porch cantilevers over the forest floor for a tree house effect.
The Far Cabin by Winkelman Architecture is set on the forested coast of Maine.
The front fence is made from sandblasted stainless-steel rods coated in a protective penetrating sealer. The fence is cantilevered out from a concrete beam below the garden, and the gate retracts into an underground pit. “It’s the first of its type in Australia,” says architect Tony Vella. “It was a work of precision to have these thin rods slide down into the ground through 30mm holes.”
The home incorporates a number of sustainable features. Glass walls are protected by concrete eave overhangs and automated external sun blinds. In addition, the heavily insulated walls, floors, and ceiling (with roof garden layers) add to the efficient energy performance of the home.
The home is located across from one of Melbourne’s bay beaches, and it needed to easily accommodate the family’s regular beach visits. “From morning swims to summer days on the beach, the home is intrinsically connected to the sun, water, and sand,” says architect Tony Vella.
Levenbetts designed the guesthouse as a porous block. Every side opens to the outdoors, allowing the landscape to continue through the building. “The idea was to create this total openness and informality and almost undomesticated domestic space,” says architect David Leven. The concrete is textured by its forms on the outside but smooth where it cuts into the building—“almost as though you sliced into it with a knife,” Leven adds.
A vegetable garden is on top of the structure. Placing the garden up a flight of stairs—the form of which shapes one of the house’s openings— protects its plantings from hungry fauna.
"We were interested in this idea of treading lightly on the site. Using a green roof is a logical extension of that.  When you introduce a building that supplants a little piece of the forest floor, it's nice to replicate that on the roof as a return gesture to continue to create habitat for birds, animals,  and plants, and to help manage the flow of storm water," explains McFarlane.
“The clients are passionate about nature conservation,’ says architect Ant Vervoot. “They know how every plant, insect, and animal fits into the greater ecosystem—their curiosity about the Bushveld is insatiable and inspiring. It really is an amazing thing to be around them in the bush.”
House of the Tall Chimneys is entirely off the grid. Power is generated with solar panels; black and gray water is contained and managed before it’s further filtered by the undergrowth; and potable water is collected from the nearby stream. “More important than these technological fixes, however, is the fact that the building requires very little in terms of resource input in order to function successfully,” says architect Ant Vervoort. “Careful design is probably the most fundamental aspect in designing environmentally sustainable buildings.”
“We asked Frankie for a home, and they built us a fantasy,” remarked the clients when House of the Tall Chimneys and House of the Big Arch were completed.
The guesthouse is located in a private reserve in the Waterberg, a mountainous region about three hours from Johannesburg.
The green roof was designed to give back the space that was taken up by the building’s footprint to the Bushveld and the animals. It is planted with site-endemic grasses, aloes, and creepers. “What pleases me one hell of a lot is that the building is completely hidden when you’re more than 20 meters away from the structure,” says Vervoort. “It’s invisible, and I’m super proud of that. The most important aspect of this building was to revere the site. I use the word revere because we didn’t just respect it—we treated this site as if it were God. I think we should do that more as architects.”
“The chimneys are in essence two big columns with some beams between them, and they look a bit like rugby posts,” says architect Ant Vervoort. “The crossbars of the rugby posts hold up the timber beams.”
A brick path leads through the forest to the entrance of House of the Tall Chimneys. “Bricks are a really cost effective way of creating space,” says architect Ant Vervoort. “Over and above that, when used correctly, bricks create complex patterns that I don’t think it’s possible to mimic using other materials.”
The entrance to House of the Big Arch is a nine-meter-tall passage, which creates a high-pressure system that pulls cool air into the kitchen.
House of the Tall Chimneys is the guesthouse of House of the Big Arch, also by Frankie Pappas. The two buildings share the same material palette, and are linked by a long path through the forest.
The aluminum windows are powder coated in a charcoal color, which is intended to match the shadows created by the forest and help the building further blend in.
The team lidar scanned around 40,000 square meters of the forested site to create a 3D model—including trees, branches, and roots—that would allow them to accurately determine how to position and design the building to have minimal impact on the surrounding trees. “We then designed a seriously thin building that could slot between the trees,” says architect Ant Vervoort.
The bedroom is elevated around five meters above the forest floor, and the space beneath has—like the green roof—been given back to the Bushveld. “Naturally, this space is shadier than the surrounding forest, so it creates a different microclimate for different species to flourish in that area,” says architect Ant Vervoort. “It’s an area that we have cultivated.”
The ground-floor living space looks inward to the courtyard and is protected on all other sides by the mass of the building and the blank brick facade.
The blank north-eastern facade faces the entrance to the property. "It is the main intention of the project to create an intimate interaction with the family," says Esrawe. "By being contained, a continuous relationship with nature is integrated into the home."
A side patio leads from the front of the home to the courtyard. The same red bricks used for the facade have been used for the paving to create a seamless fabric that wraps the built form and the site.
The slim profile of the red bricks used in the facade creates a textured surface across the monolithic form, while red and brown tones of each brick create an organic, varied pattern of color.
Casa Sierra Fría is the first residential project by Esrawe Studio, the design studio founded by Mexican industrial designer Hector Esrawe in 2003. It is regarded as one of the best known design studios in the country.
The entire home is wrapped in a brick "skin" that extends onto the ground at the front and sides of the home. The entrance is found through a simple void in the facade beside a pond with floating vegetation that hints at the verdant interior.
The green roof over the one-story living area blends the home into the bushland.
A bridge connects the home’s two volumes, which are divided between private and public spaces. The private spaces are protected through a series of screens and shading devices, while the main public living spaces are fluidly open to the outdoors.
Approaching the home from above, guests encounter a green roof that feels united with the landscape beyond. The entry sequence presents purposefully framed views that hide and reveal the lake.
A two-story, timber volume holds the private areas while a one-story concrete pavilion is more social and communal. Large openings blend indoor and outdoor spaces while allowing coastal breezes to become part of the home environment.
The steel bridge—which echoes the design language of the steel brise soleil—extends from the second-floor study into the rear garden.
The deep brise soleil shades the interior as well and offers privacy from neighboring buildings without compromising the views.
Both the boys' bedroom and family room spill out into the ground floor garden, providing the children with an expanded play area outside of the house.
The two monolithic walls on the north and south sides are integrally colored, steel-troweled plaster. They anchor the home in its site as well as provide privacy from neighboring homes.
The home has large areas of glazing on the east and west facades. Given the small footprint of the home and the open floor plan, the entire interior experiences direct light in the morning and evening.
There is now continuous, stepped landscaping from one home to the next as the buildings and street rise up the hillside.

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