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An insulation layer is optional on any roof, and prevents water stored in the greenroof system from extracting heat in the winter or cool air in the summer.  Insulation is generally applied on existing roofs in retrofitting projects that may require an increase in the insulation value and is usually determined by the architect.  Each company has different insulation options, from being integrated with the drainage boards (ZinCo's Floratherm build-up), to Foamglas® cellular glass (Pittsburgh Corning Corp.).  Depending on the design and type of roof, the placement of insulation can be wither under or over the roof deck, or over the waterproofing membrane.

Robert McMarlin of Pittsburgh Corning states that "Combining an impermeable, closed-cell insulation material such as cellular glass with the roof membrane is ideal for the flat roof system...since no water can accumulate, the danger of root invasion is eliminated."  Due to its high compressive strength of 100 pounds per square inch, Foamglas® cellular glass insulation will not compact under the greenroof system weight.  He also points out that because it is manufactured from the very abundant mineral silica (SiO2), cellular glass is totally inorganic and requires no production of chlorofluorocarbon or hydrochlorofluorocarbon gasses (Western Roofing Magazine, May/June, 1996).












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