The photos above of are various projects around New York City. Some projects allow, and some owners, and architects do not understand the danger that Very High Organic Matter blends can present.

Looking at these real site photos shows the inherent problem. Media for roofs and planters that is very high in compost (like 30-75% Organic Matter in the final “soil”) quickly end up like this! Broken down, shrunk, and not functional as a soil or stormwater solution.

A true green roof media has 10% or less organic matter by mass at the very maximum. Yet, in this world where cost cutting is common and these complex systems are hard to understand poor quality materials that shouldn’t be an option get installed on these roofs. We have personally seen installations with materials form NJ or Canada that is like this. Its mostly compost and mulch. No aggregate no sands no minerals so like a potting mix you would buy at the store, its light and fluffy and CHEAP. Well you get what you pay for. It shrinks (Disappears like those photos because it breaks down since its moslty organic!), doesn’t drain and those pictures are 3-4 years after installation. Naturcycle wants a green roof or planter to last decades not days! If someone is offering you a very cheap, super light green roof soil that looks like a potting mix be weary and get the data. None of these materials would meet the FLL Guidelines. Shop around there are good providers like Naturcycle but this is malpractice and a HUGE headache for the owner later. Very High Organic Matter soil blends (more than 10% Organic Matter in the final soil) are a danger to any project on roofs or at grade. Naturcycle is here to help, educate owners and LA’s on the right questions to ask and what to look for on projects large and small

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