The new urban jungle: a re-introduction to Blackdown Greenroofs

Posted by Ashlea Williamson

How often do you look up, beyond the ground floor office lobbies, shopfronts, or restaurants that line the high street?

There is an entire other world that exists above us, away from the buzz and bustle of the busy city; a new kind of urban jungle is being cultivated on our rooftops.

Across the world, there is ongoing intense increase in urban development and with it, city living and working. This demands of us an ever-greater understanding and conscientiousness of global climate change, and our part in it. As our population increases, we must develop sustainable and compact approaches to growth in order to avoid over-development, or further development into green belt land.

Green roofs can be a way of balancing our urban development by providing pockets of nature. If every city centre roof top were to go green, the impact upon our environment could be significant, in terms of the effect it could have on maintaining cleaner air quality, on reintroducing local wildlife and on providing places of calm and serenity in the middle of the hectic city.

They can even contribute towards the performance of a building, by providing insulation, energy balance and reduction of CO2 emissions, aiding SuDS with rainwater attenuation and surprisingly, even extending the life of roof waterproofing and therefore saving money. Facilities such as schools and office blocks can even make use of roof space for synthetic rooftop sports courts, conveniently encouraging people to make time for their own wellbeing and maximising BREEAM ratings for buildings.

Green roofs are not a new phenomenon, but the ways in which they are devised, designed, installed and maintained has developed. Modern green roof systems have been used around Europe for over 50 years and are commonplace throughout western Europe. Ranging from intensively vegetated (intensive) to extensively vegetated (extensive) to recreational, there are already many examples of living roofs in London including at Canary Wharf, Bishops Square, the Laban Centre, Deptford and Offord Street, Islington.

Blackdown Greenroofs originally specialised in the supply, installation and maintenance of roof planting systems with the main purpose of creating a natural habitat for wildlife in the urban environment. But as is the nature of nature, we’ve grown into a complete roof top, podium and balcony landscaping specialist.

Nurturing extensive knowledge and the sharpest skills when it comes to planting, we are uniquely equipped to advise our clients on the most appropriate green roof scheme for the project’s requirements, offering bespoke intensive green roof design, landscaping and installation. Whether seeking to fulfil biodiversity action plan requirements, optimise BREEAM ratings, or provide an aesthetic roof covering that stands out from the crowd, Blackdown Greenroofs can provide the optimum sustainable green roof design and tailored advice.

The real urban jungle is high above the paved forest floor, and is one viable way to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for our cities and our population.

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White House Works, Bold Road, Sutton, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 4JG