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Living Roof application in Humid Tropics (East Kalimantan)

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Hi All. I have a few questions that I want to ask y'all about living roof, as this will be my very first attempt. I want to install them here, in East Kalimantan. For those of you who don't know, I am right on the equator, so the humidity level is around 70 - 90 and the temperature will be around 30 degrees celsius. There are only few threads on tropical living roof in the internet, so I hope I can find further answers here.

First, the material. As I browsed through the net, these are the materials that are commonly used by most people (from bottom up):
1) Roof structure/ledge: steel structures are mostly recommended
2) Water proof slab: concrete (viva) board or treated plywood
3) Geomembrane
4) Insulation foam
5) Drainage layer
7) Soil mix/planting media

Any input on these? Any more efficient method?


Second, rain water catchment. Rain water catchment is a must-install feature for our homes. How can we integrate living roof as an effective rain water collector? Slopes? Drainage system and construction? Best vegetation options?


Third, any info or statistics on how living roof will affect humidity levels and temperature?


That's all folks. I hope some of you (maybe all) can answer this newbie's questions.

Have a nice day!  

Thank you
Posts: 664
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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Hello Rayi,

The following web links should answer most of your questions:



In regards to water collection, a slight slope on the roof and a gutter attached should be enough to direct clean water to a tank.

The thermal mass and foliage protects from direct heat, the evaporative effects should also cool, though it would be dependent on the surrounding environment e.g. typical tropical house design with large open verandahs, doors and louvered windows, water ponds, and foliage; rather than concrete, brick or stone.

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