Roofing 326 views Jul 27, 2017
Growth opportunities for the green roof market

Green roofs have long been a popular specification across Europe but are still relatively new to many in the UK construction industry. Our capital city sets the standard with more than 700 green roofs in Central London alone, but isn’t it time the rest of the country caught up and moved the concept of green roofs into mainstream consideration on all urban projects?

Everybody knows that space is at a premium in our cities, with the cost of land forcing developers to build upwards and refurbishments now responsible for 40% of the construction market. And with the increasingly adverse effects of global warming, environmentally conscious clients and stringent building regulations, specifiers and contractors are looking to make their buildings as harmless, and where practical as beneficial, to the environment as possible.

A popular and viable solution to the growing problems of urban heat island effect, stormwater runoff, air pollution and loss of outdoor spaces,vegetated roofs, terraces and gardens must now become a mainstream ecological construction method. Without using costly or unproven technologies, they can provide a simple way to reduce energy costs and offset the environmental impacts of construction practices with a previously unused space.

The thing about roofs is that they provide space that can be utilised for the benefit of both the building and the planet. It is no longer just somewhere to stick unsightly plant and equipment; it is an area which can: reduce flooding risks, save energy, create energy, clean the air around us and provide bio-diverse habitats which will indeed benefit us all.

Green roofs will also make financial sense as one of the many benefits is the fact that the life of the roof is extended. A green roof improves the thermal behaviour of the building by acting as an insulate, helping to keep the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer. This lowers the stresses on the roof structure as a whole and the waterproofing in particular. It is also physically protecting the waterproofing layer from damage. It can also result in the lowering of heating and air conditioning costs.

So with all these benefits, why is the UK playing catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to green roofs? In reality, it probably isn’t. With over 700 already, London actually has more green roofs than most cities in Europe and the USA. But that’s only the start. With the UK’s population still on the increase and house prices back on the up, it’s highly likely that for the roofing market – the future’s green.