Rooftop gardens and soft green lawns on the balcony give apartment dwellers delightful garden settings in which to enjoy fresh air and chat with friends. Installing synthetic turf onto rooftops and balconies requires special consideration in regards to drainage, waterproofing, and surface weight before construction starts. TigerTurf has installed many of these upper-level landscape features over the years, safely overcoming some challenging access and technical points.
Builders, architects, and landscape designers are responsible for constructing strong, safe, watertight rooftops to support the weight of the base, turf, and infill.
• They must plan to ensure the base is built to carry the weight of the synthetic grass turf.
• They must also make sure adequate drainage is achieved.
TigerTurf’s Technical Director, Don Crockett, shares some useful tips on the key factors that need to be considered. He also introduces our innovative new base product, TenCate Sine, a lightweight shock-absorbing pad that has also been designed to capture water and drain it away from the surface.
1. The landscape turf should be installed over a base with a slope to allow water to run off to a drain or gutter (a minimum of 1 percent is recommended).
2. TigerTurf landscaped lawns can be laid over most bases and waterproofing membranes. Lapped waterproofing systems can show through the finished lawn surface. This can be mitigated using the TenCate SINE pad.
3. TigerTurf’s landscape turfs weigh around 1.2kg to 2kg per square metre.
4. If the surface is sand-filled, you need to allow an additional 10 kg per square metre for the landscape surface. This must be factored in when planning and building the decks and roof.
5. It is important to install an effective drainage system to prevent water from sitting on the turf. Our TenCate SINE pad is an extremely effective drainage product that protects the waterproof membrane by draining surface water vertically and then laterally to drainage systems. TenCate Sine is also a lightweight shock absorber that provides comfort underfoot, while providing efficient multi-directional drainage.
6. TigerTurf infilled synthetic lawn systems can be laid loose as the additional weight of the sand will stabilise the surface. If the surface is exposed to wind, we recommend the turf be fixed at the edges to prevent the wind from catching and lifting the turf. TigerTurf has adhesives that are free of solvents, and these will adhere to most surfaces. However, a small trial or consultation with the waterproof system supplier is always advisable.
7. TigerTurf landscape lawns that are not infilled with sand will need to be glued directly onto the base.
Access can be a problem, as the TigerTurf landscape lawn comes in 3.66 metre rolls, along with the sand infill if this is required. This is most easily resolved by careful planning. Architects, building project managers, and TigerTurf project managers should engage in discussions and coordinate strategies from an early stage in the building process.
We can generally overcome most access concerns. For example, using a crane, while it is in place to lift building materials, to lift the Tigerturf installation materials and storing on the site until the building is complete and ready for the TigerTurf lawn. In this scenario, weight distribution and weather protection need to be discussed.
TigerTurf’s installation teams can level out valleys and small rises with porous crushed rock if required.
If this is required, the architect, builder, and designer will need to factor in additional weight of around 15kg to 20kg per square metre.
The surface is then overlaid with the landscape grass and SINE pad (if required). They know our products and the correct method of installing them to achieve a successful, durable landscape installation on rooftop sites.
The maintenance of the TigerTurf landscaped lawns is easy. Contact TigerTurf for more information or read our landscape maintenance article here.
The main message here is to:
1. plan to ensure the base is built to carry the weight of the synthetic grass turf and
2. to make sure adequate waterproofing and drainage are achieved.
Contact TigerTurf early in the planning stages and we can collaborate with you on the best strategy to achieve successful and beautiful landscaped lawns.