General Benefits of Green Roofs – Reduction of Urban Heat Island Effect

A close-up of completed M-Tray green roof installation|An overhead shot of a green roof

Green roofs are recognised to have a positive effect on reducing the UHIE (Urban Heat Island Effect).

What Is The Urban Heat Island Effect?

An urban heat island, or UHI, is a metropolitan area that’s a lot warmer than the rural areas surrounding it. Heat is created by energy from all the people, cars, buses and trains in big cities like New York, Paris, and London. Urban heat islands are created in areas like these: places that have lots of activity and lots of people.

There are many reasons for UHIs. When houses, shops, and industrial buildings are constructed close together, it can create a UHI. Building materials are usually very good at insulating or retaining heat. This insulation makes the areas around buildings warmer.

“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 a lot of people in one area, that’s a lot of heat.

For more information, please click here.

How Can Green Roofs Help?

A green roof, or rooftop garden, is a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop. Green roofs provide shade and remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration, reducing temperatures of the roof surface and the surrounding air. On hot summer days, the surface temperature of a green roof can be cooler than the air temperature, whereas the surface of a conventional rooftop can be up to 90°F (50°C) warmer.1

Green roofs can be installed on a wide range of buildings, from industrial facilities to private residences. They can be as simple as a 2-inch covering of hardy groundcover or as complex as a fully accessible park complete with trees. Green roofs are becoming popular in the United States, with roughly 8.5 million square feet installed or in progress as of June 2018.2

For more on this story, please click here to visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency article.

Offsetting The Urban Heat Island Effect

Green roofing systems, such as the M-TRAY® green roofing system, 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.

Green roofs can absorb both dust and pollutant gases and also offer water attenuation qualities (up to 50% at 100mm depth). They also cool buildings rather than having the hard surfaces radiate heat out at night. There is also evidence of localised cooling, stormwater reduction, less flooding and more insects and wildlife in urban centres.

Introducing The M-Tray®

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

Wallbarn is at the forefront of developments in the green roofing sector and has always provided products that combine top-quality ingredients with user-friendly, hassle-free maintenance. The purpose of M-Tray® is to enhance rooftop living

Our bespoke design allows us to supply the best quality vegetation to site. The fully established, mature sedum or wildflower plants, are contained within easy-to-carry trays which click together to form an almost invisible join.
For M-Tray® Enquiries – Call 0208 916 2222 / Email sales@wallbarn.com
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Inverted Roofing Systems Explained

An image of an inverted roof|An image of an inverted roof installation|An image of an inverted roof installation|An image of a completed roof installation|An image of an adjustable pedestal

Offering a wide variety of benefits, inverted waterproofing systems are an alternative to the warm roof method.

Typically defined as a type of roof which has the waterproofing layer beneath the insulation rather than above it, inverted roofs require the insulation to be ballasted to prevent wind uplift or floating in rainfall water.

Often referred to as an “upside-down” roof, the requirement for increased thickness of the installation board means designers need to be sure that sufficient weight is placed on the boards to prevent movement.

Concrete paving slabs offer a good ballasting solution. To prevent damage to the rigid installation board, the slabs should be suspended onto pedestals.

Wallbarn’s range of pedestals will separate the slab from the deck, create an air gap beneath the slab for effective roof drainage underneath and between the slab and the positioning lugs create uniform straight paving lines drainage.

The Benefits of Inverted Roofs

Benefits of inverted roofs include

  • The waterproofing layer is protected
  • The functional life can be considered to be significantly longer
  • Improved environmental performance
  • Thermal shocks are among the most important factors involved in ageing and fatigue for waterproofing membranes which are not the case for inverted roofs.
  • Better stormwater management
  • Flat roofs can be constructed to offer full and easy access for any future work
  • They can withstand surface traffic
  • They remain unaffected by freeze/thaw cycles

Durable, Cost-Effective Products

Offering a durable, cost-effective range of products, our pedestals offer the ideal solution for anyone looking to create a suspended system for their inverted roof which allows easy access to the concealed surface beneath.

More roof and balcony designs incorporate a completely flat upper surface in order to utilise them more effectively as leisure areas. More attractive paving with spirit-level-flat finishes can be achieved using a much larger variety of different stone and slab shapes using our ASP supports.

Wallbarn’s range of adjustable support pads ensures that even where contractors build their roofs to a fall to allow good drainage, a completely flat upper level of paving or decking can be achieved.

How Does The Process Work?

Very small, irregular or multiple changes in height can be accommodated using the simple but durable twist mechanism on the stem. Once the slab is placed on top of the support, the whole system locks into place.

Falling roofs can be paved to an even finish extremely quickly and effectively using these supports, cutting down labour time considerably. Edges and end of runs can either be bordered with a line of washed pebbles or by removing the lugs and sliding the support underneath the slab and out of view. Services such as cables or water pipes can be laid underneath the slabs easily, keeping the upper surface uncluttered.

Wallbarn adjustable pedestals are available from 10mm to 1020mm. Ultra-low and very high height thresholds can be accommodated.

All Wallbarn adjustable pedestals are extremely durable and have been tested and found to be working normally at minus 40 degrees Celsius.

The range of support pedestals has been created to effectively address all potential installation scenarios and form the core of our product range.

Click Here To View Our Range of Adjustable Pedestals For Paving

Remember our Timber Decking Tiles?

Timber Tiles – CATA Romania

 

Timber Decking Tiles

This product has been growing in popularity. Why? Apart from their natural beauty, they are as quick and easy to install as laying paving slabs and super low profile.
Timber Tiles
On retrofits traditional decking built on a timber framework is often too high to run flush to existing thresholds.

You can deck up to thresholds as low as 37mm when combined with our 7mm fixed height pedestals with integrated headpiece which help keep them clear of the deck and standing water.

Timber Tiles
Watch this residential re-fit in Stoke Newington (video) and this huge penthouse terrace transformation in Brighton.
Timber Tiles
 

Find out more about our timber tiles and other products here and a host of other great case studies here.

Consult a member of our knowledgeable service team by phone or via our live online chat facility at wallbarn.com.

 

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020 8916 2222

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Online chat

 

Sustainable Roof Requirements for New Buildings Go Into Effect In New York

Brooklyn, New York

For the full press release, please click here.

This is a major development and one we hope more cities are going to follow.

What makes the M-Tray® unique?

Offering the ideal solution for application to all types of building, 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.

  • deep cavities for healthy roots
  • optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • established vegetation at point of installation
  • 100mm deep substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • no sharp edges or mess, less risk to membrane
  • click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • easy to transport and install

We only supply fully-established, mature sedum plants contained within our easy-to-carry M-Trays® which click together to form an almost invisible join.

Please Click Here For More Information About The M-Tray® Modular Green Roof

M-Tray® Silverlake West Dorset

M-Tray® installation at Silverlake, West Dorset

 

Wallbarn’s modular Green Roof chosen
for stunning lakeside development

Silverlake

Watch this short video about our unique M-Tray® solution being installed at Silverlake in West Dorset. 

Have a green roof project in mind? Get in touch!

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020 8916 2222

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Online chat

 

 

How Green Roofs Can Help To Combat The Dangers of Flooding

M-Tray_Hammersmith_Tray Laying

Spring and summer have been among the wettest on record in eastern North America. And the world is watching Houston this week, where the remains of Hurricane Harvey have caused devastating flooding.

Rainfall amounts in the spring broke records in places like Toronto, where 44.6 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours. The downpours earlier this spring caused the stormwater infrastructure in Canada’s biggest city to overflow, leading to flooding of busy downtown streets.

Rapid Loss of Permeable Surfaces

Urbanisation in many North American cities has led to a rapid loss of permeable surfaces where water can freely drain. Coupled with the growing downtown core population in cities Toronto, this means that the stormwater and sewer systems in place must manage more water than in previous decades.

Furthermore, global temperature increases have been linked to the rise in extreme weather events worldwide, a trend that could worsen if global warming is not brought under control.

Many cities are ill-equipped to deal with these unprecedented amounts of precipitation due to their insufficient and outdated stormwater infrastructure.

Using Green Roofs To Help Manage Storm Water

Green roofs are a green infrastructure (GI) option that can be applied to virtually any rooftop given weight load capacity. The benefits of green roofs extend far beyond their obvious aesthetic appeal.*

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 from 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 the value of the development
    • Properties with green roofs sell / rent faster rate than naked buildings
  • Making the planning process easier
  • Money-saving

To help with this, Wallbarn presents the new M-Tray® for 2019 which has been further improved to make sedum roofs easier to install with less disruption to both the plants and the structure.

Our bespoke design allows us to supply the best quality vegetation to site. The fully established, mature sedum or wildflower plants, are contained within easy-to-carry trays which click together to form an almost invisible join.

For more on the new M-Tray®, please visit the dedicated area of the site by clicking here or contact us directly on Tel. No. 0208 916 2222.

 

*For more on this story, please click here.

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General Benefits of Green Roofs – Biodiversity

A wildflower green roof

It is now well documented that green roofs play a key role in helping to create biodiversity by providing important refuges for wildlife in urban areas.

A recent study by Sydney Marie Gonsalves at the Portland State University outlined the following in their introduction:

Green Roofs and Urban Biodiversity: Their Role as Invertebrate Habitat and the Effect of Design on Beetle Community

“With over half the world’s population now living in cities, urban areas represent one of earth’s few ecosystems that are increasing in extent and are sites of altered biogeochemical cycles, habitat fragmentation, and changes in biodiversity. However, urban green spaces, including green roofs, can also provide important pools of biodiversity and contribute to regional gamma diversity, while novel species assemblages can enhance some ecosystem services. Green roofs may also mitigate species loss in urban areas and have been shown to support a surprising diversity of invertebrates, including rare and endangered species. In the first part of this study I reviewed the literature on urban invertebrate communities and diversity to better understand the role of green roofs in providing habitat in the context of the larger urban mosaic. My review concluded that, while other factors such as surrounding land use and connectivity are also important to specific invertebrate taxa, local habitat variables contribute substantially to the structure and diversity of urban invertebrate communities. The importance of local habitat variables in urban green spaces and strong support for the habitat complexity hypothesis in a number of other ecosystems has led to proposals that “biodiverse” roofs— those intentionally designed with varied substrate depth, greater plant diversity, or added elements such as logs or stones—would support greater invertebrate diversity, but there is currently limited peer-reviewed data to support this.”

“In order to address the habitat complexity hypothesis in the context of green roofs, in the second part of this study, I surveyed three roofs designed primarily for stormwater management, three biodiverse roofs, and five ground-level green spaces, from March until September of 2014 in the Portland metropolitan area. Beetles (Coleoptera) were sampled bi-weekly as representatives of total species diversity. Biodiverse roofs had greater richness, abundance, and diversity of beetle species compared to stormwater roofs, but were not more diverse than ground sites. Both biodiverse roofs and ground sites had approximately 20% native beetle species while stormwater roofs had only 5%. Functional diversity was also higher on biodiverse roofs with an average of seven trophic groups represented, while stormwater roofs averaged only three. Ground sites, biodiverse roofs, and stormwater roofs each grouped distinctively in terms of beetle community composition and biodiverse roof communities were found to be positively correlated with roof age, per cent plant cover, average plant height, and plant species richness. These results support the findings of previous studies on the importance of local variables in structuring urban invertebrate communities and suggest that biodiverse design can reliably increase green roof diversity, with
the caution that they remain no replacement for ground-level conservation.”

To read the full report, please click here.

How Can The M-Tray® Help?

Our bespoke design allows us to supply the best quality vegetation to site. The fully established, mature sedum or wildflower plants, are contained within easy-to-carry trays which click together to form an almost invisible join.

M-Tray® has been designed and developed by Wallbarn in the UK and is the subject of Community Registered Design (No. 002953943-0001) and US Design (Application No. 29/553,129).

To visit the dedicated area of the site, please click here.

Contact Us

Wallbarn can advise and assist on all aspects of scoping, installing and maintaining your green roof project.

Just pick up the phone, ask a question using the live chat facility on this site or send us an email at info@wallbarn.com and we’ll get back to you next working day at the latest.

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Our Pedestals Offer Proven Durability

An image of an adjustable pedestal|An image of a construction project in Montreal|Megapad 22-30mm|Megapad 75-120mm

Any product used as part of a construction project needs to offer a guarantee of quality and durability.

With potentially catastrophic safety issues should any product fail to function once installed, it is absolutely essential that before purchasing a product, you are certain of its qualities.

Did You Know?

Inferior plastic will crack in sub-zero temperatures. So if your project requires the installation of decking supports or paving supports, what steps are you taking to ensure that you have a quality product?

Some manufacturers use fillers in order to save money – this can weaken the structural integrity of the pedestals but this is not the case with anything available from the Wallbarn product range. We do not cut corners and it is very important that you do not either when creating or retro-fitting a raised deck.

Our Megapads offer outstanding qualities and durability and are available in sizes ranging from 22mm to 1-20mm.

Safety Test Documentation

Do you have the required access to the safety test documentation for your required products? Our customers can request access to all the independently-verified technical data relating to any of our products.

High-Quality Decking Support Pedestals

The Wallbarn range of paving and decking supports are lightweight and easy to handle, helping to ensure a smooth installation but there has been no compromise in strength or durability to achieve this.

Amongst many other tests*, our products are temperature tested by an independent testing laboratory to ensure their continued functionality from temperatures ranging between -40°C and as high as +75°C.

Our robust range of decking and paving pedestals/supports are manufactured from injection moulded polypropylene and can tolerate loads of 683kg per unit Normal Weight Tolerance (end of linear behaviour) with a Maximum Load of 1171kg.

Offering proven durability, a project utilising our paving supports in Montreal in 2014 offers the perfect example. Exposed to extreme cold since their installation in 2014 and still working perfectly.

Offering Key Advantages

Our range of support pedestals share common features and benefits ensuring their quality and durability:

  • Achieve stunning finishes
  • Suspended system
  • Fully adjustable
  • Superior quality
  • Suitable for paving slabs and timber decking

*tests completed by an independent testing laboratory

Overlaying Decking or Complete Reconstruction?

An image of a decking overlay|Timber Decking Installation Image (Before & After)|decking in a line on patio

When looking to install a new deck, the decision on whether to overlay an existing deck/paving structure or rip it up and start afresh can be a complex one.

Whilst many people automatically assume their only option is to remove everything from the original installation, with factors such as time and expense to consider, exploring alternatives can pay off in a variety of ways.

Resurfacing Your Deck

Resurfacing an existing structure with decking or paving offers a number of advantages including:

  • Removing the need to dig fresh foundations
  • Creating the chance to implement effective waterproofing solutions
  • Save time and money during installation
  • No creation of waste & no issues with waste disposal

By using timber tiles on top of free-standing pedestals which are installed on top of the existing structure, we are able to ensure that the new tiles are kept clear from excess standing water which might make them warp.

This, in turn, will leave space underneath the freshly installed tiles for cables, pipework and outlets and as tiles aren’t fixed to the pedestals, access can be gained simply by lifting a tile.

Natural, Attractive Finish of Timber Decking

By using suspended Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles, installers combine the natural, attractive finish of timber decking with the speed and ease of laying paving slabs.

Traditionally laying timber decking directly onto these deck surfaces led to additional costs of employing specialist carpenters. Laying timber joists directly onto the waterproofing membrane also risked damage over time. Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles offer the ideal solution. The weight of the tile will hold the system in place.

Suspended System

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.

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 can be hidden beneath the tiles and accessed easily.

Achieving Stunning Finishes

Stunning finishes can be achieved. The tiles can be laid in a straight-line pattern or in a “chessboard” 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 including Ipe and Cumaru.

We can also supply FSC® certified timber as we have FSC® Chain of Custody (please speak to your Wallbarn representative).

Click Here To View Our Range of Hardwood Timber Decking Tiles

Should The Installation of Green Roofs Be Made Mandatory?

An image of a completed M-Tray green roof installation in Sydenham

From Copenhagen to San Francisco, from Toronto to Singapore (and many more), locations across the globe have introduced legislation requiring the installation of green roofs on new commercial, institutional and multi-family residential developments.

Offering a number of proven benefits, it’s not difficult to see why. 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 from the sun
  • 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 the value of the development
  • Properties with green roofs sell/rent faster than naked buildings
  • Making the planning process easier
  • Money-saving

With so many benefits and an increasing number of locations the following suit, the question has to be asked, why aren’t more governments and councils taking steps to make the installation of green roofs to certain new developments mandatory?

The UK green roof industry has grown beyond all recognition over the past few years but it is still telling that a significant proportion of green roofs in the UK have been installed in the Greater London area.

This is highlighted on the Mayor of London/London Assembly website which can be accessed via the link below:

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/parks-green-spaces-and-biodiversity/green-roof-map

Taking Additional Steps

Introducing a requirement for green roofs to be installed as part of standard planning policies would be a huge step in the right direction. However, the case for retrofitting green roofs to existing buildings must also be made. Developers and architects would then be able to factor this into their plans as a necessity rather than an optional extra.

Please Note – Whilst the theory behind introducing this type of legislation is absolutely rock solid, it’s crucial that everyone buys into the spirit of the intentions. Trying to cheat the system by including a substandard green roof into plans just to help gain successful planning permission is not going to help achieve any type of sustainable change.

* “Amsterdam launched a green roof incentives programme in 2009 offering subsidies to owners to install green roofs. Return on investment has been demonstrated within 2-6 years with the quickest payback being seen from roofs providing a degree of access, despite the higher initial costs.

Similarly, New York passed legislation in 2008 to provide one-year tax abatement for green roof installation covering at least 50% of the roof.”

*https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/comment-should-green-roofs-be-mandatory/

With urbanisation reaching an all-time high, the time for change is now. Targeting new developments and existing structures with green roofing legislation can help to create a significant change offering wide-ranging benefits.

What makes the M-Tray® unique?

Offering the ideal solution for application to all types of building, 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.

  • deep cavities for healthy roots
  • optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • established vegetation at point of installation
  • 100mm deep substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • no sharp edges or mess, less risk to membrane
  • click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • easy to transport and install

We only supply fully-established, mature sedum plants contained within our easy-to-carry M-Trays® which click together to form an almost invisible join.

Please Click Here For More Information About The M-Tray® Modular Green Roof