A new and updated Green Roof Organisation (GRO) Code for green roofing was launched including more detailed ‘Living Roofs and Walls’ technical information to support the Mayor of London’s plans for a greener city.
The new GRO Code reflects a growing movement, stimulated by the Mayor’s strategic planning document, ‘The London Plan’, together with councils and local authorities across the UK, for green roofs to be designed for new developments wherever feasible. In particular the update includes more detailed technical information on waterproofing and installing the materials in which plants will grow.
Green roofs have the potential to improve London’s resilience by reducing the speed of stormwater run-off and its volume, and by increasing the cooling effect during heat waves. They also provide much-needed outdoor space in a growing city, cleaner air, and a more pleasant living and working environment.
Already the number of green roofs in London is soaring. The latest analysis suggests there are now around 700 green roofs in central London, covering an area of over 175,000 m2.
Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Environment & Energy, said: “It is fantastic to see green roofs proliferating across London thanks to the vision of the Mayor’s London Plan and the Green Roof Organisation’s commitment to innovation and quality. We warmly welcome this new code, and hope it continues to help boost demand and delivery of green roofs in the capital and across the country. Green roofs means a greener city, with reduced flood risk, cleaner air, and makes London an even better place to live, work and invest.”
The new GRO Code highlights the benefits of green roofs from improved air and water quality, quieter buildings and new opportunities for urban agriculture. It also considers the merits of green roofs and solar power; whereby green roofs are able to maintain a more constant temperature regime with less daily fluctuations, hence solar PV panels are able to work more efficiently throughout the day. In the case of BREEAM, green roof installation in general can also directly assist in gaining credits in the categories of flood risk, mitigating ecological impact, enhancing site ecology and long term impact on biodiversity.