In honour of World Green Roof Day on Sunday, 6th of June, our blog this month is devoted to all those green spaces positioned at lofty heights!
World Green Roof Day was founded by Chris Bridgman & Dusty Gedge; veterans of the sustainable living roof arena. Now in its second year, the objective of the day is to celebrate green roofs internationally and bring focus to the many benefits they offer to people and nature.
The founders are also board members of the Green Roof Trade Organisation (GRO), the UK trade body that is responsible for the green roof code of practice. (You can read more about GRO here.)
Green roofs are very much a part of the solution to the climate emergency, especially when considering the architecture of our cities. While awareness of green roofs and their benefits has increased in recent years here in the UK, the first modern green roof policy in the world was in Karlsruhe, Germany as far back as 1979. Following on from Karlsruhe, Linz in Austria took up the baton in 1984 and across the German-speaking world green roofs are integral to the urban planning scene.
(Not forgetting, of course, that the true origins of green roofs began thousands of years ago with the most famous being the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, constructed around 500 B.C.)
Our own foray into green roofs began in 2006 with the installation of a green roof in Bristol at the ‘Strawdio’.
Since that time, our Wildflower Turf Roof Turf has graced buildings at Peppa Pig World in Hampshire, University of Nottingham, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, and Cardiff Castle just to name a few. And not forgetting the many smaller-scale projects we have been involved with! It has been very gratifying to see many independent homeowners embracing the concept of green roofs; our turf has even completed the roof of an urban home bike store!
One of the most complicated green roof design projects that we have been involved with was Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, which opened in 2015.
A key design consideration of this project was the incorporation of a green roof finish to both flat and steeply curved roof areas. In some areas the roof pitch was 45 degrees, so a formulated approach was required to ensure that the wildflower plantings would achieve the desired appearance while also taking into consideration installation challenges and ongoing maintenance.
We grew and supplied 5,000m² of a bespoke blend of Wildflower Roof Turf to cover the roof of Alder Hey. A mixture of UK native wildflowers and grasses, the turf was laid by installers used abseiling equipment and rope access.
As well as providing a calm and tranquil environment for children and their visitors (with access to play areas surrounded by wildflowers), the project also won the “Green Roof Project of the Year” Roofing Design at the UK Roofing Awards in 2016.
If you’d like to explore the green roof topic further, we’ve devoted more that a few column inches to this beloved subject on the Wildflower Turf Ltd blog. Delve more by following the links below:
World Green Roof Day has a strong presence on social media…why not get involved and don’t forget to use this year’s hashtag: #WGRD2021
Follow World Green Roof Day on Twitter
Follow World Green Roof Day on Instagram
We have also collated a few other useful green roof resources for you, please follow the links below:
We look forward to seeing you online this month and can’t wait to see you sharing own green roof projects. Enjoy this year’s #WGRD2021 and we hope the initiative provides you with inspiration and an incentive to further consider the many benefits and opportunities that a green roof provides.