Tomorrow Is World Green Roof Day!!

Green roof Yorkshire

It is with great excitement that we look forward to the inaugural World Green Roof Day taking place on the 6th June 2020 tomorrow.

This new annual day of celebration belongs to the world of green roofing and is the perfect opportunity to share images, projects and case studies of all the fantastic green roof and roof garden projects around the globe.

To engage with World Green Roof Day on social media just use the hashtags #WGRD and #WGRD2020 on the day and in the run-up to it.

World Green Roof Day

What is #WGRD?

A celebration of green roofs all over the world and the benefits they bring to people and nature.

Why #WGRD?

Towns and cities globally are going green to adapt to climate change. Green roofs also provide vita wildlife habitats and make life better for everyone.

How to be part of #WGRD2020

Share the green roof love on social media with images, events and gatherings.

Become a #WGRD2020 supporter

You can support #WGRD2020 as an individual or organisation

We believe World Green Roof Day is a tremendous idea by the team over at Bridgman Landscapes and encourage everyone to get involved.

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Today Is World Environment Day

World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day 2020

The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.

Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message:
To care for ourselves we must care for nature. 

It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet. This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.

What Is World Environment Day?

World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on 5 June; engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue.

The Theme

In 2020, the theme is biodiversity–a concern that is both urgent and existential. Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa–and now, a global disease pandemic–demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist. Nature is sending us a message.  

The Community

Above all, World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It recognizes that global change requires a global community.  It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to safeguard wild spaces; for educators to inspire students to live in harmony with the Earth; and for youth to become fierce gatekeepers of a green future.  It requires all of us.

The Host

Every World Environment Day is hosted by a different country, in which official celebrations take place. This year’s host is Colombia in partnership with Germany.

Stay Connected

This year, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide. Sign up here to stay informed as we unite, for nature. 

What Makes Our Fire Rated Pedestal Different?

Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestals

Wallbarn are at the forefront of cutting-edge industry developments and are ready to launch a designed-for-purpose, non-combustible, fire-resistant pedestal on 1st June 2020.

Based upon our ASP (Adjustable Support Pedestal, now known as the Universal pedestal) which is designed to help distribute weight effectively, we have developed a steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product.

Offering a similar base to our universal pedestal, we will provide different headpieces for both decking and paving to ensure maximum versatility.

Using galvanised steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we have developed this bespoke product from scratch. We have designed the pedestal ourselves, using our many years’ experience in the paving and decking market and produced a series of prototypes which we have tested extensively; finally coming up with a product which we think meets the requirements of the new safety regulations completely.

Key Features

  • Developed from scratch to ensure a bespoke product which is fit for purpose
  • Class A1 product
  • Galvanised steel (ensuring extreme temperature tolerance)
  • Telescopically adjustable
  • Different headpieces available to ensure suitability for both decking and paving installation
  • Similar, circular base to our universal pedestals for satisfactory weight distribution

Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestals

Why Is This New Product Needed?

Building Regulations prohibit the use of combustible materials in external walls on “relevant buildings” over 18 metres above ground level. These regulations have been in force since December 2018.

For the first time, balconies are now counted as part of the external wall and classified as a “specified attachment”. For building works which commenced after 20th February 2019, the following now applies:

The construction of either:

new buildings which are:

  • over 18m, and
  • in which people sleep; or

for the refurbishment of existing buildings where:

  • changing the cladding would result in lower safety (i.e. recladding over concrete), or
  • the building is changing in use

then the new legislation indicates that all components of the wall must be individually tested as non-combustible (European Classification A2-s1, d0 (limited combustibility material) or A1).

To view the full list of building regulations in England covering fire safety matters within and around buildings, please click here.

What Is The Impact?

These updated regulations mean that combustible materials are no longer permitted on the external walls of new buildings or material alterations to the buildings covered by the regulations.

The Regulations require that materials which form part of the external wall or specified attachment have to achieve the requirements of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or A1 (Classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 entitled “Fire classification of construction products and building elements”). There are limited exceptions, such as door frames and doors, electrical installations, certain parts of roofs, window frames and glass.

For more information, please visit the dedicated area on our website by clicking here.

Non-Combustible, Fully Adjustable, Class A1 Fire-Rated Pedestal

MetalPad with Click-deck head for decking

New legislation was introduced on 21st December 2018 which specifically relates to the fire requirements of external balconies in England and Wales.

For the first time, balconies are now counted as part of the external wall and classified as a “specified attachment”. For building works which commenced after 20th February 2019, the following now applies:

The construction of either:

new buildings which are:

  • over 18m, and
  • in which people sleep; or

for the refurbishment of existing buildings where:

  • changing the cladding would result in lower safety (i.e. recladding over concrete), or
  • the building is changing in use

then the new legislation indicates that all components of the wall must be individually tested as non-combustible (European Classification A2-s1, d0 (limited combustibility material) or A1) under the criteria of EN 13501-1

Significantly there is no longer the ability to test a complete wall (or therefore balcony) system using BS8414.

Introducing The ‘MetalPad’

We have acted proactively to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance. We have therefore developed a new range of products.

Our non-combustible, fully adjustable, Class A1 pedestal has been specially designed for high-rise balconies, terraces and flat roofs. 

Using galvanised steel to ensure strength, stability and extreme temperature tolerance, we have developed this bespoke product from scratch. It is made from 100% steel with no plastic or rubber elements and is fit for purpose.

Based upon our ASP, Universal and TD decking designs these pedestals have large, circular bases to help distribute weight effectively and designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of both commercial and residential projects. Our Class A1 product is a fully adjustable, galvanised steel pedestal specifically developed and produced to provide durability, strength & versatility where it is needed most.

Key Advantages Include:

  • fully compliant to fire safety regulations and standards
  • Suitable for paving slabs and timber decking
  • No plastic or rubber elements
  • Superior quality
  • Suspended system, no need for mechanical fixings
  • Fully adjustable

Offering a similar base to our universal pedestal, we will provide different headpieces for both decking and paving to ensure maximum versatility.

Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestals

What do A1 and A2 ratings mean?*

The government’s official guide to rules on fire safety – Approved Document B – defines products achieving an A1 classification as non-combustible and products achieving an A2 classification as being of limited combustibility. A-class products – those classified A1 and A2 – make no significant contribution to fire growth while products with a rating of B-F are classified as combustible.

The European Classification system for combustibility (EN 13501-1) classifies construction products using a series of tests. Class A materials have the best performance in a fire and are divided into two sub-classes, Class A1 and Class A2.

  • Class A1– Products are described as having no contribution to fire at any stage. The BS EN 13501-1 test sets several thresholds for combustion performance when tested to both EN ISO 1716 and EN ISO 1182. One of these thresholds is a maximum heat of combustion of 2MJ/kg. Typical products meeting this classification include most inorganic materials such as metal, stone, and glass.
  • Class A2– Products are described as having no significant contribution to fire at any stage. BS EN 13501 sets several thresholds for combustion when tested to EN ISO 1182, or both EN ISO 1716 and EN 13823. One of these thresholds is a maximum heat of combustion of 3MJ/kg. A typical product meeting this classification is plasterboard.

An A2 certified product has higher combustibility and can sustain flame for no more than 20 seconds. In contrast, A1 has lower combustibility and no sustained flaming when tested.

The EC Decision 96 also lays out what materials are deemed to be Class A, B and so on.

Wallbarn MetalPad for paving and for decking is Class A1.

*These definitions were taken from the Architects Journal, please click here for the full details.

 For more information, please visit the dedicated area on our website by clicking here.

Why Are Fire-Rated Pedestals So Important?

Fire rated pedestals for decking

Previously unknown in exterior applications, non-combustible pedestals and pads are now essential products to ensure compliance with fire regulations affecting the construction industry which have become significantly more stringent.

At Wallbarn, we have acted pro-actively to the changes in fire safety regulations to produce a range of products which are fully compliant to the new regime for high rise balconies and terraces.

Based upon our ASP and Universal pedestal design to help distribute weight effectively, we have developed a steel adjustable pedestal for paving and decking which is a Class A1 product.

Fire rated pedestals for decking

Why Are These Products Necessary?

After the tragic events at Grenfell, new legislation was introduced on 21st December 2018 which specifically relates to the fire requirements of external balconies in England and Wales. and one of the keys to this is the need for non-combustible decking pedestals in some construction projects, particularly on balconies and terraces at heights of over 18 metres.

The MetalPad Class A1 fire-rated pedestals have been designed to meet the requirements of every terrace and balcony specification which requires the installation of fire-rated products.

Our Class A1 fire-rated pedestals have been created to offer a fully adjustable galvanised-steel solution offering longevity, durability and strength.

Key Advantages Include:

  • Suitable for paving slabs and timber decking
  • 100% metal
  • Designed for application, not adapted from other systems
  • Superior quality, solid stem
  • Suspended system
  • Fully adjustable
  • High quality
  • Durable and designed with longevity in mind

Offering a similar circular base to our universal pedestal with a smooth underside, we will provide different headpieces for both decking and paving to ensure maximum versatility.

Using galvanised steel and a solid stem to ensure strength and extreme temperature tolerance, we have developed this bespoke product from scratch and it ensure are certain that it is fit for purpose.

What Has Changed?

For the first time, balconies are now counted as part of the external wall and classified as a “specified attachment”. For building works which commenced after 20th February 2019, the following now applies:

The construction of either:

new buildings which are:

  • over 18m, and
  • in which people sleep; or

for the refurbishment of existing buildings where:

  • changing the cladding would result in lower safety (i.e. recladding over concrete), or
  • the building is changing in use

then the new legislation indicates that all components of the wall must be individually tested as non-combustible (European Classification A2-s1, d0 (limited combustibility material) or A1) under the requirements of Standard BS EN 13501-1.

Significantly there is no longer the ability to test a complete wall (or therefore balcony) system using BS8414.

The MetalPad is Class A1.

For more information, please visit the dedicated area on our website by clicking here.

Introducing The MetalPad – Our Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestal

Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestals

Wallbarn have pro-actively reacted to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance with our products.

The Standards could not be clearer, to meet BS EN 13501-1 2018 (fire classification of construction materials) the products must be non-combustible. The European Commission Decision 96-603-EC sets out what materials can be categorised as Class A.

With claims by other businesses that the headpieces and baseplates used with their ‘non-combustible’ pedestals will be made of rubber and plastic, we believe that it is important to ensure that there can be no doubt whatsoever that our range of fire-rated, non-combustible pedestals will be Class A1 compliant. No ifs, no buts, no interpretation.

Leading The Way

The industry reaction to the changing legislation relating to requirements for the use of non-combustible pedestals has resulted in designs and specifications which are vague, to say the least.

As such, we are leading the way with regards to industry innovation in the area of non-combustible pedestals.

Developing A Galvanised-Steel Adjustable Class A1 Fire-Rated Pedestal

Using galvanised steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we have developed this bespoke product from scratch and we are fully confident that it is fit for purpose.

This non-combustible, fully adjustable, Class A1 pedestal has been specially designed for high-rise balconies, terraces and flat roofs. 

Class A1 Fire Rated Pedestals

Key Benefits

  • Non-combustible to BS EN 13501-1
    (Fire classification of construction products & building elements)
  • No plastic or rubber components
  • Designed for exterior applications
  • Made from 2mm thick galvanised steel 
  • Solid stem for superior weight tolerance
  • Over 1,000kg loading per pedestal
  • 150mm diameter circular base plate
  • Millimetre-precise height adjustment
  • Bespoke headpieces for paving and decking
  • Heights range from 30mm up to 258mm.

Complies fully with draft British Standard BS 8579

Offering a similar base to our universal pedestal, we will provide different headpieces for both decking and paving to ensure maximum versatility.

Durability and Effectiveness

At Wallbarn, we do not believe in compromising in the quality and durability of our products and utilise a large, circular metal baseplate with a smooth underside, which will help ensure effective weight distribution that will not compromise the non-combustible qualities of the MetalPad.

All our products are designed with durability and effectiveness in mind. With such serious consequences should these fire-rated pedestals fail, we strongly believe that there are no grey areas with regards to legislation and no room for interpretation.

What Has Changed?

Previously, building regulations in the UK state that any material used for filler or insulation on high-rise buildings must be of ‘limited combustibility’.

However, these regulations will be amended so that only materials classed as ‘A1 or A2’ under the European Reaction to Fire classification system, will be allowed.

Making the Adjustment

Based upon our ASP & Universal pedestal design to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a steel adjustable non-combustible pedestal.

Designed and manufactured in the UK from 100% galvanised steel, our forthcoming range of class A1 rated non-combustible pedestals will help to ensure complete compliance with new fire safety legislation.

Reacting To Significant Changes

Combustible materials will be banned from the exterior of new residential tower blocks above 18m as well as schools, care homes and hospitals, the government has announced. Only materials rated Class A1 or A2 can be included on high rise balconies in the future. There is even talk that these rules will apply to any building over 11 metres.

Currently, building regulations in the UK state all insulation and filler materials for cladding on high-rise buildings must be of ‘limited combustibility’.

It is understood that the only materials that will now be allowed are those classed as A1 or A2 under the European Reaction to Fire classification system, which includes materials such as metal, stone and glass which rarely contribute to fires, or plasterboard, which makes no significant contribution.

This measure – which was lobbied for by campaigners and the RIBA  and in light of the Hackitt report on building fire safety – will usher in a regulatory change that will signal a major upheaval in the building industry.

* For more on the definitions of class A1 and A2, please click here for the full details.

For more information, please visit the dedicated area on our website by clicking here.

What Is An Inverted Roof?

An inverted roof

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.

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.

Inverted 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.

What Are The Benefits Of An Inverted Roof?

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

These benefits 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

AKA  ‘Upside-Down Roof’

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.

Offering The Ideal Solution

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 universal supports.

Wallbarn’s range of universal support pedestals/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.

 

What Is World Green Roof Day?

A close-up of an M-Tray installation in Whitstable

It is with great excitement that we look forward to the inaugural World Green Roof Day taking place on the 6th June 2020.

This new annual day of celebration belongs to the world of green roofing and is the perfect opportunity to share images, projects and case studies of all the fantastic green roof and roof garden projects around the globe.

To engage with World Green Roof Day on social media just use the hashtags #WGRD and #WGRD2020 on the day and in the run-up to it.

World Green Roof Day

What is #WGRD?

A celebration of green roofs all over the world and the benefits they bring to people and nature.

Why #WGRD?

Towns and cities globally are going green to adapt to climate change. Green roofs also provide vita wildlife habitats and make life better for everyone.

How to be part of #WGRD2020

Share the green roof love on social media with images, events and gatherings.

Become a #WGRD2020 supporter

You can support #WGRD2020 as an individual or organisation

We believe World Green Roof Day is a tremendous idea by the team over at Bridgman Landscapes and encourage everyone to get involved.

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How Can Green Roofs Help To Improve Mental Health?

An overhead shot of a green roof

Mental Health Awareness Week starts today! We would like to use this opportunity to shout about it and help get the nation talking about kindness, mental health and ways to improve wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. 

The focus on kindness is a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people’s mental health.

“Some people have mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, which means they have feelings that won’t go away and which start to really affect day-to-day life.”

Mental Health Statistics: UK and Worldwide

With a recent study by the UK Mental Health Foundation highlighting just how serious a problem this is becoming, finding an effective method of combatting this has never been more important.

  • mental health is the main cause of overall disease burden and the primary cause of disability globally, resulting in more than 40m person-years of disability annually in 20–29-year-olds per year around the world
  • 1 in 6 people in the UK experiences a common mental health problem every week
  • anxiety and depression is the cause of 20% of days lost from work each year in the UK.

However, despite our increasingly urbanised, high-density and the high-pressure world, there is growing evidence that a proven way to help reduce stress levels and improve mental health may be available to us in the form of green roofs.

Losing contact with the outdoors

Losing contact with the outdoors has, therefore, become commonplace over the last century as a result of living in modern spaces. Spending more time indoors, being glued to screens and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to this disengagement with nature.

As of 2018, 55 per cent of the global population was inhabiting urban spaces across the world, according to a report by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Projections for the year 2050 estimated that 2.5 billion people in the world or 68 per cent of the world’s population will occupy urban areas.

While natural spaces continue to decrease within cities, there is an urgent need to address the impact of losing contact with nature on mental health. In a reflective piece for The Conversation, Dr Zoe Myers, author of “Wildness and Wellbeing: Nature, Neuroscience, and Urban Design,” suggested building greener neighbourhoods through constructing small biodiverse patches, as opposed to long green corridors with logistical challenges.

“If the evidence shows that nature contact helps to buffer against negative impacts from other environmental predictors of health, then access to these landscapes can be considered a matter of environmental justice,” Greg Bratman, lead author of a study published in the journal of Science Advances in 2019, said.

For more on this story, please click here to visit the Medical Daily website.

How can green roofs help?

It has been widely accepted for some time now that the addition of a natural landscape to an urban area can lift moods and make us generally feel better.

There is increasing evidence that visual and physical contact with natural greenery provides a range of benefits to people. These include both mental health benefits (such as reduction of stress) and physical health benefits (including cleaner air). Access to green space can bring about direct improvements in a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and can aid general well-being.

For more on this, please click here.

For more on the M-Tray®, Wallbarn’s unique modular green roof, please click here.

 

 

How To Choose The Correct Sedum For Your Green Roof

Sedum green roof summer flowers

Wildflower or biodiverse green roofs are supposed to contain a mixture of native flower species to attract native insects and birds. However, if you were to prepare a green roof substrate of bare earth and introduce a few native flowers after a period of time the roof will become overrun with grass and very invasive weeds such as goat willow, bindweed and nettles. The result after time will be unsightly and potentially dangerous for the membrane beneath. 

How To Make Sure You Choose The Correct Sedum

Many “wildflowers” are either annual or biennial or have such large root structures that they are unsuitable for green roofs.

What to do? Wallbarn is offering a solution by using the standard sedum M-Tray® green roofs as a basis for our green roof and adding wildflower seeds. Our sedum mix, which is based on the Jellito “Northern European and English Mix” seed mix which that company supplies, contains native sedum species and those deemed suitable for the English climate. Many of these sedums are flowering, have different leaf structures and textures, and grow and retreat throughout the year.

Sedum is not just a green carpet. It has many different varieties and if it is planted up in the right manner, can produce an extremely complicated and attractive garden.

This Is The Right Way To Introduce The Wildflower Seed Mix

In order to get more wildflowers into the system, Wallbarn is broadcasting the sedum trays with a wildflower seed mix at the point of harvesting and packing.

If we planted up wildflower trays on the farm, the flowers would be crushed upon packing and would be dead by the time they were delivered. Therefore, the tray units will look like regular sedum trays when they are delivered. The seeds will start to germinate immediately and will start to appear as flowers within 3 weeks of delivery and watering (we recommend that the trays are watered once installed).

This seed mix is designed to attract bees and butterflies, so will increase the amount of nature on the roof.

Effective Maintenance For “Wildflower” Green Roofs Is Essential

There are certain things to consider: these flowers are chiefly annuals, so will die off at the end of the growing season.

Therefore, in order to have flowers the next year, the roof will need to be reseeded. Either user can harvest the seeds in this season’s crop to sow the next year, or purchase another seed mix (available from Wallbarn) the next spring. Also, these wildflowers can grow very high, up to 80cm and will have much more fibrous structures than sedum (which is succulent) so the dead stalks and other vegetation will turn not rot but remain on the roof after the flowers have died off.

This makes the roof look unsightly and is also a potential fire risk, so these dead stalks should be removed every autumn. Clients should bear this additional maintenance in mind when choosing wildflower – if the roof is inaccessible this can prove a major problem. The additional costs of more maintenance should also be factored.

Need More Information?

More information on Green Roofs can be found on our website.

If you would like to talk to us to discuss our green roof solutions, please contact us today on 0208 916 2222 or email sales@wallbarn.com.

 
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