Installing green roofs: some planning tips

Wallbarn Green Roof System shoot in Wimbledon and Heathrow - 1

 

 

Key planning considerations
for installing a green roof

If you are thinking of installing a green roof, there are a few things you need to think about prior to starting….from budget to maintenance.

 

Read our guidance here

 
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Can we help you with a green roof project?

Our team is ready to answer your questions:

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Wallbarn M-Tray® Sedum Wildflower Green Roof Module

A close up image of the sedum used in the M-Tray

The advances made in the design of the new M-Tray® model have created a number of key advantages including:

  • deeper cavities for extra root growth
  • optimum drainage leading to stronger plant growth
  • more established vegetation at point of installation
  • more efficient transport and packaging
  • exactly 4 units per m2
  • easier to carry trays with smooth handles

  • closer connection between trays for more seamless plant growth
  • no sharp edges, less risk to the membrane
  • nothing spills out, less mess
  • made from recycled plastic with recycled substrate
  • less packaging, less waste
  • UK designed and manufactured in UK

M-Tray® With Wildflower

As well as the sedum trays, Wallbarn plants up a wildflower mix into the M-Tray®. A varied mix of at least six different native species has been selected. All these flowers and herbs are low growing, hardy species, chosen to be pollinators for butterflies and bees.

Why Modular?

The main advantages of modular over roll-out green roof systems include convenience and speed of installation, futureproofing, and the delivery of instant results.

All the elements required for a successful green roof have been measured and installed into the M-Tray® modules at the nursery.

Users can feel confident that the plants, growing medium and filtration components are suitable and compatible, and at the correct level to give strong, healthy growth over the long term.

The trays are grown for a period of at least 6 months and all will have been through at least one spring growing season; so the plants are well established, healthy and strong, and fully integrated into the substrate (unlike sedum blankets, which are not).

Mess and disruption are big issues with roll-out systems.

Moving bags of aggregate-based substrate onto rooftops is fraught with risk – the aggregate goes everywhere and as it is so granular, it can damage waterproofing membranes very easily. Sedum blankets are also supplied rolled up, so the plants get damaged during the transport and installation process.

This is not the case with the M-Tray® modules.

Enhanced Accessibility

Another key benefit is accessibility. As each module is 500 x 500mm, one M-Tray® can be carried by one operative. For areas which are very difficult to access, such as single storey extensions, domestic projects and other completed structures, roll-out is simply not possible. M-Tray® can be hand-balled into even the most awkward areas, even carried through a window (pictured) if necessary. They are the perfect retro-fit product.

Speed is also a major factor. It has been proven that green roofs constructed using Wallbarn M-Tray® are installed much faster than in traditional roll-out methods.

It is also an instant green roof. Since the sedum are less shocked by the installation process, as soon as the trays are connected together the whole area is filled with well-established plants. They will start to grow straight away, forming a seamless layer of vegetation much faster.

Access to the roof is future-proofed. If there are problems with the deck beneath or inspection is required, one M-TRAY® or section can easily be lifted out without disruption to the whole roof.

The modular green roof panels are packaged and delivered in the most convenient manner.

By being palletised, the plants can get to the roof quickly and without the risk of damage.

Contact Us

For more information, please visit the dedicated area of our website via the following link – https://www.wallbarn.com/products/m-tray/

If you have any questions or want make an enquiry, please call 0208 916 2222 / sales@wallbarn.com

Currently Browsing: Wallbarn M-Tray® Sedum Wildflower Green Roof Module

How Green Roofs Help To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

An image of a completed green roof installation

Global warming is one of the most significant challenges facing our civilisation. If we are not able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the Earth will experience a significant warming trend that will put a great deal of strain on our infrastructure and institutions.

While much collective action needs to be taken, there are things that we can all do on an individual basis that can help.

Making Property Modifications

For example, making some simple modifications to your home can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. This figure represents the amount of carbon dioxide that you are personally responsible for being emitted each year. A good way to start making a difference is by having a green roof installed on your home.

With such a roof, you replace the standard shingles or tiles with green plants. This is not as simple as just tossing some grass seed on the roof of your home, of course, but the basic principle is the same. There are a number of ways in which green roofs can help combat global warming.

Increased Energy Efficiency

First of all, such a roof helps to make your home significantly more energy-efficient. Most asphalt shingles, for example, are dark grey or even black, meaning that they absorb a lot of heat from the sunlight. This warms up your home, meaning that your cooling system has to use a lot more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your house.

Green plants absorb sunlight and use it to produce food. They also reflect many frequencies of light rather than absorbing them. This helps keep things at an even temperature inside your home so that your HVAC system does not have to run as frequently and use up as much energy.

Offsetting The Urban Heat Island Effect

Green roofs can also help to offset the urban heat island effect. Because cities are full of roads, roofs, and parking lots, they tend to absorb a lot of sunlight, making them several degrees warmer than the surrounding country. By putting a green roof in place, you can help to offset this effect and start to cool your city back down again to a more reasonable temperature.

These are just a few of the many ways in which a green roof can help you reduce your personal carbon footprint. Having one installed can also save you money, making this a win-win situation for both you and the planet.

Wallbarn presents the new M-Tray®. It has been developed and further improved in order to make sedum and wildflower green roofs easier to install, with less disruption to both the plants and the structure. It is designed to also give a more seamless and luxurious finish and to provide an instant green roof.

Green roofs, which with the M-Tray® can be retro-fitted to existing structures, take up no ground space. Originally introduced for aesthetic reasons, they offer a huge range of additional benefits including building insulation leading to energy savings, reduce temperatures outside by absorbing sunlight, and mitigate the urban heat island effect. They also contribute to stormwater management by soaking up the rain, and reduce noise and increase urban biodiversity.

But the latest studies find green roofs and walls are also valuable for removing air pollution; they can reduce nitrogen dioxide by up to 35%, and make 50% cuts in the small particulates that damage lungs.

 

Currently Browsing: How Green Roofs Help To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Wallbarn Timber Tiles – Reaching The Parts Other Tiles Cannot Reach

An image of a completed timber decking tiles installation|An image of a completed timber decking tiles installation

The installation of timber decking to a roof can pose a number of problems with accessibility being a significant issue for many decking projects.

The range of hardwood timber tiles available from Wallbarn is absolutely ideal for installations with very limited height thresholds and are perfect for areas which are inaccessible for other decking products (longer planks).

Key Attributes

All our timber possesses the following qualities:-

  • Are ultra-hard and dense.
  • Are long lasting.
  • Are resistant to moisture ingress and rotting.
  • Have smooth grains that are unlikely to splinter or scratch on the surface.
  • Are resistant to insect and mildew damage.
  • Are strong and weight bearing.

Many projects face issues relating to accessibility and time constraints but because our timber decking tiles measure just 500 x 500mm they can easily be carried by hand to ensure their suitability for even the most inaccessible of areas.

The perfect example of how these can be utilised can be found in the following case study

Wide Ranging Benefits

Hardwood timber tiles offer an easy way to lay attractive decking onto rooftops and terraces.

The key benefits include:

  • By using suspended timber tiles, installers can combine the natural, attractive finish of timber decking with the speed and ease of laying paving slabs.
  • Traditionally, laying decking directly onto surfaces means employing a specialist carpenter, this is not necessary with our range.
  • Laying timber joists directly onto a waterproofing membrane also risks damage over time.
  • The weight of the tiles holds them in place.
  • Suspending the tiles on our support pedestals avoids having to fix anything to the deck and lifts the timber away from standing water.
  • As everything is free-standing, the tiles can be taken up and replaced without disrupting the whole area, should the deck need to be inspected.
  • Unsightly items such as drainage outlets, cables and pipes are hidden beneath the tiles.

Offering The Ideal Solution

Whilst traditionally laying timber decking directly onto these deck surfaces led to additional costs of employing specialist carpenters and laying timber joists directly onto the waterproofing membrane also risked damage over time, our timber paving tiles have been specifically designed to offer the perfect solution as the weight of the tile will hold the system in place.

This suspended system avoids having to fix anything onto the deck and lifts all the timber away from any standing water, avoiding the dangers of a slippery surface.

Because everything is free standing, the tiles can be taken up and replaced without disrupting the whole area, should the deck need to be inspected. Unsightly items such as drainage outlets, cables and pipes can be hidden beneath the tiles and accessed easily.

Stunning finishes can be achieved. The tiles can be laid in a straight line pattern or in a “chess board” style, depending on the client’s wishes. We have a range of different timber available sourced from South America, chosen for their beauty and durability.

 

Click here for more information about our range of hardwood timber decking tiles

The Urban Heat Island Effect – Explained

A close up image of work taking place to install a green roof in Hammersmith

An urban heat island, or UHI, is a metropolitan area which is much warmer than the surrounding rural areas.

“The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water pollution.”

Where does the heat come from?

Heat is generated by energy from all the people, cars, buses, and trains in big cities like London, Paris and New York. Urban heat islands are typically then created as a by-product of this in areas that have lots of activity and lots of people.

There a variety of different reasons why UHIs come into effect. For example, when houses, shops, and industrial buildings are built close together, it can create a UHI. Building materials are usually very good at insulating, or holding in heat. However, because of the insulation, the areas around the buildings become warmer.

Contributing factors

“Waste heat” also contributes to a UHI. People and their tools, such as cars and factories, are always burning off energy, whether they’re jogging, driving, or just living their day-to-day lives. The energy people burn off usually escapes in the form of heat. And if there are many people in one area, a lot of heat will be created.

Urban areas are densely populated, meaning there are a lot of people in a small space. Urban areas are also densely constructed, meaning buildings are constructed very close together. When there is no more room for an urban area to expand, engineers build upward, creating skyscrapers. All this construction means waste heat—and heat that escapes insulation has nowhere to go. It lingers in and between buildings in the UHI.

Nighttime temperatures

Nighttime temperatures in UHIs remain high. This is because buildings, pavements, and car parks block the heat coming from the ground from rising into the cold night sky. Because the heat is trapped on lower levels, the temperature is warmer.

Urban heat islands can have worse air and water quality than their rural neighbours. UHIs often have lower air quality because there are more pollutants (waste products from vehicles, industry, and people) being pumped into the air. These pollutants are blocked from scattering and becoming less toxic by the urban landscape: buildings, roads, sidewalks, and parking lots.

Detrimental effect on water quality

Water quality also suffers. When warm water from the UHI ends up flowing into local streams, it stresses the native species that have adapted to life in a cooler aquatic environment.

Scientists are studying how urban heat islands might contribute to global warming, the most recent climate change pattern that includes the gradual warming of the Earth’s temperature.

For more on Urban Heat Island effect, please click here

How Wallbarn Can Help?

The installation of green roofs to a UHI has been proven to help offer a way to combat the effects.

Our M-Tray® has been specifically designed to make sedum roof installation quick and easy – with minimum disruption to the plants and the structure they are going onto – and to provide a seamless, verdant finish – an instant and sustainable green roof.

The benefits of constructing a green roof include:

  • Improving the local environment by providing wildlife habitats
  • Absorbing CO2, pollution and particulates from the atmosphere
  • Improving sound and vibration insulation
  • Improving thermal insulation
  • Reducing the amount and speed of rainwater run-off by around 50% and forming part of a SUDS design
  • Reducing the “heat island” effect in built up areas and helping to improve air quality and environment
  • Protecting the structure and waterproofing membrane from:
    • UV light and heat form the sun
    • impact and abrasion
    • environmental elements including extremes of temperature
    • plant and bird infestation
  • Ballasting inverted waterproofing systems
  • Optimising the structural footprint by:
    • Increasing space – providing new and attractive natural amenity areas
    • Adding floor space in often high density developments
    • Adding focal points
    • Decreasing energy costs
    • Increasing value of the development
    • Properties with green roofs sell / rent faster rate than naked buildings
  • Making the planning process easier
  • Money saving

Click Here To View Our Dedicated M-Tray®Green Roof Area

“5 Star Service” says another happy customer

 

“5 Star Service”
says another happy customer 

Check out this great DIY garden refurbishment, using our Balance self-levelling pedestals, filmed from the ground and from the air.

5 Star Service For West Wickham Customer

Can we help you with a paving or decking project?

Our knowledgeable service team is on hand to answer your questions:

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020 8916 2222

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Online chat