If you’re not familiar with green roofing, or if you think it’s only for horticulturists and large-scale public projects, then it may be time to have a rethink.
There’s a growing movement by many councils and local authorities throughout the UK, including the London boroughs, to incorporate green roofs into new developments, where feasible. Green roofing is also becoming popular with homeowners – from transforming their humble garden shed and even landscaping main parts of their roof. So, if you’re up for it, green roofing can offer another string to your bow, and an opportunity to help nurture your business.
But what exactly are green roofs? Essentially, they are any planting scheme established on a roof, structure or wall. Not only do they look great and help soften the look of a building, they are brimming with environmental, social and economic benefits, which is why local authorities are interested.
Close up of this year’s UK Roofing Award Green Roofing Winner – Boathouse, Organic Green Roofs
In urban environments, green roofs help attract the birds and butterflies and provide cleaner air, offsetting our carbon footprint and helping combating global warming. Green roofs can also help reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, and offer a degree of additional insulation in the winter. The lives of waterproofing membranes beneath green roofs are extended, plus sound insulation is improved. Not only that, water surface run-off can be reduced; thereby helping to minimise flash floods following intense periods of rainfall.
The most common types of green roofs include extensive, intensive and biodiverse. Extensive are mainly succulents that are highly adapted to the UK climate and need little or no maintenance. Intensive tends to be the grasses often used for recreational amenities, whilst biodiverse feature small pockets of different micro-climates, such as a small pond on a large buildings roof, logs and stones for other habitats.
Whilst they may be relatively new to the UK, green roofs have been around for more than 50 years and are very popular on the continent.
Installing a green roof system is completely different to traditional roofing and brings increased loading to the roof, so you should only undertake such a project if you have been trained to do so. If you think green roofing could be for you, it will pay to invest in a training course to obtain a nationally recognised qualification in green roofing.
The Green Roof Organisation (GRO) is responsible for promoting the code for green roofs in the UK. You can join for free if you are a member of one of the following trade associations – National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA) or Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA). You will also have to adhere to the GRO Green Roof Code, the code of best practice, which can be downloaded for free.
If you would like more information, give us a call on 020 7638 7663; we can help point you in the right direction.