Intensive Green Roof

- Education City, Qatar

Client Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Al Jaber & Partners

Consultant Parsons


Rootline Root Barrier



  • Pre-fabricated composite product allowed rapid installation to meet tight project timescales
  • Easy handling and installation on roof areas
  • Reduced load on structure due to lightweight components

Project Description
Education City is an initiative of the private, non-profit organization, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, which was founded in 1995 by the Emir of Qatar.

It is set on a 2,500-acre campus on the outskirts of the capital, Doha. Education City hosts branch campuses of five American universities and is also home to educational institutions for children and research institutions. Part of Qatar Foundation’s promotion of a ‘culture of excellence’ required designers to provide innovative solutions throughout the many buildings sited across the Education City complex. A podium deck finished with an intensive green roof was selected to create an aesthetically pleasing walk way through from the metro station to the main building complex.

The Challenge
With external planting in the Middle East there is always a challenge to irrigate and preserve water for maintaining healthy plant growth especially through the hot summer periods. The specification called for the planting of ornamental grasses and sedums in multi-shaped planters.

A five layer roof detail was devised where the waterproofing layer was protected from mechanical damage and root damage; a water collection reservoir to encourage root growth and carefully selected growing media. The window for installation was very tight to avoid planting in the middle of the summer and a quick lay solution was required. The multiple layers posed a time consuming installation problem.

The Solution
ABG working with WT Burden offered ABG Roofdrain geocomposite system which combined three of the separate layers in one product. Working with the main contractor, Al Jaber, ABG helped detail all edge and overlap details including a wedge to carry the multiple layers through 90 degrees and provided a supervisor on site to ensure rapid installation.

The 25mm thick Roofdrain is supplied in rolls with overlaps to ensure growing media does not fill the reservoir voids below. The Roofdrain drainage composite is highly versatile and can be easily cut to suit the complex multishaped planters on the podium deck. Roofdrain includes a protection geotextile which protects the waterproofing membrane from damage during construction.

With the help of ABG, the green roof and irrigation system installation was undertaken quickly and successfully. The Roofdrain geocomposite captures the irrigation water in a reservoir optimising reuse of the water.

ABG Roofdrain geocomposite underneath the growing media on the Intensive Green Roof

The ABG Service
Assistance with design detailing, staged delivery along with site supervision at the start of installation.

Additional information