Published: January 12, 2017

Native Roofs mimic the original state of the land your building is built on. They include diverse native plant species and design elements which attract and support native insects and birds.


Green roofs are essentially a built-up areas on a roof surface covered in a growing medium and vegetation. Designs for green roofs can be simple as a layer of hardy Sedum and can be as complex as your imagination would like. 

Native Roofs replicate mixed-grass prairie with native plants and include design elements that attract and support native insects and birds. This has the benefit of:

  • requiring less maintenance and irrigation. When properly established, they can require no irrigation outside of drought events.  Vegetation used has evolved to endure extended periods of drought.
  • maintaining their original design. Highly manicured green roofs are expensive to establish and maintain and can lose their original design as more dominant species take over and as native or weed species are introduced by the wind. 
  • providing habitat for native plants, insects and birds and encouraging restoration of native prairie.
  • raising public awareness and understanding of our natural ecosystem.

Plant Selection

Appropriate plant selection is key to establishing a Native Roof. Finding the balance between plants that will survive in a rooftop environment, those that provide suitable habitat for native animals and insects, and those that are native to the region is key to establishing authentic and healthy Native Roofs. 

Some examples of species appropriate to Southern Alberta are: june grass, rocky mountain fescue, blue grama, prairie aster, creeping goldenrod, sagebrush, yellow penstemon, and prickly pear cactus.

Additional Features

Our Native Roofs are designed to attract and support a variety of native insects and birds. To do this, we select diverse and appropriate vegetation and include varied topography and other structures that create a more appealing habitat.

Depending on the specifications and location of your building, your maintenance requirements and preferences, your roof might also be suitable for:

  • Bird or bat boxes
  • Artificial beehives or solitary bee habitats
  • Worm composting