What is a roof terrace?

Roof terraces originate from flat roofs. Flat roofs are roofs with little or no pitch, providing the use of the rooftop space. Roof terraces are structures that are supported to allow the utilization of the area for gardening. They are parallel to the ground to offer stability. Roof terrace development in Australia began with the onset of flat roof design during the Victorian period.

With population becoming a factor, architects explored means to create garden space not only on the ground but also on the roofs. Several buildings in Australia continue to adopt roof garden styles making them attractive. The secret gardens in Sydney, Condor tower in Melbourne and the M Central in Sydney are some of the buildings with charming roof gardens.

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They are not as popular as parapet roofs, because of their complexity in design. However, roof terraces are now adopted by architect and engineers because they provide aesthetic value to the flat roofs. The definition of a garden relates to geology and agriculture, which means it, is a sloping land facing a lake or a river.

Construction of roof terraces in Australia

How do you construct roof terraces? The primary consideration in the development of roof terraces is to make them impermeable. They utilize the space on the roof which is mainly built using concrete. Since concrete is a porous material, a typical concrete terrace requires an additive, Xypex, to make the specific resistant to water. Most gardens are designed to have a pitch, which is almost unnoticeable, to drain off standing water.

The flat roof allows installation of satellites, vents and other materials. During the construction of roof terraces, these elements should be kept away from the area to prevent breaking.

Apart from the concrete construction of roof terrace, there is the framed construction which is simple to construct. Mounted assemblies are light in weight as compared to the concrete structure. The structural support required for framed building is much less as compared to those in concrete construction. Unlike concrete roof terraces, the framed garden resists water through the addition of a thin impermeable membrane.

Factors to consider in the construction of roof garden

Anyone can adopt the roof terrace design. It is, however, vital to check the building regulations and restriction. Before constructing a roof garden, it is essential to evaluate your structure. The roof should be strong enough to withstand extra weight. Assessing the channels and type of irrigation and drainage is crucial.

What are the benefits of roof terraces?

Apart from aesthetic value added to the roof, roof terraces provide outdoor space which is less often available. They also increase the value of the property when it comes to real estate ratings. Roof gardening is a method of increasing fresh air supply to your building.
When it comes to reducing energy cost, roof terraces are the solution. The roof garden provides insulation against heat loss from the building and also helps in reflecting heat, leaving the room cold during the hot season. With roof terraces, you can prolong the life of the waterproof membrane as well as your concrete deck.

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