Why Choose A Modular Green Roof?

Green Roof Installation

The introduction of the new improved M-TRAY® modular green roofing system to the UK market has made it easier than ever before to install a green roof.

This pre-grown sedum green roof product is supplied in easy-to-handle plastic tray units.

A fully established, mature garden roof system can be installed quickly and easily on difficult-to-access roofs by hand without the mess and disruption associated with traditional extensive green roof systems.

What Benefits Are Offered By A Modular Green Roof?

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.

A Myriad of Benefits

Growing plants on your roof may initially sound a little unorthodox, but it presents a myriad of benefits to the modern homeowner, with increased energy efficiency being a primary advantage.

Offering Energy Efficient Qualities

Whilst there can be little doubt that the installation of a modular garden roof system can greatly improve the aesthetics of a standard roof, the benefits do not stop there as it green roofs actually offer a variety of benefits including:

  • Increased Roof Lifespan
  • Energy Reduction
  • Reduced Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)
  • Increasing Biodiversity and Wildlife
  • Improved Air and Water Quality
  • Reduced Sound Transfer

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

  • A 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 the recycled substrate
  • Less packaging, less waste
  • UK designed and manufactured in the UK

Our unique M-Tray® has been specifically developed to make sedum roof installation that much easier with minimum disruption to both the plants and the structure it is going onto.

Please click here for more on the M-Tray®

Transform Your Decking With The iDecking Revolution

An image of a completed iDecking installation

Wallbarn is the exclusive distributor in the UK for iDecking, the innovative new system for hardwood and composite decking and cladding.

All iDecking products are guaranteed to be:

  • Low maintenance
  • Wear-resistant
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Weather-resistant

A close-up of an iDecking installation

The Advantages Of iDecking Include

iDecking patented systems EasyClick and EasyChange are the simplified, super-fast, super-accurate ways of constructing timber decking and cladding areas for luxurious, strong and hardwearing finishes.

The advantages include:

  • Install decking without any visible screws using just your feet
  • Avoid discolouration and splinters
  • Install decking and cladding faster than traditional methods
  • Create heavy load-bearing deck systems without constructing a softwood joist
  • Choose from a range of stunning finishes in composite material
  • Choose from a range of superior hardwoods including 100% FSC® certified timber

Easy Installation Techniques

The ‘EasyClick’ and ‘EasyChange’ products offer two different types of hidden decking fixings which enable the quick and easy fittings of your decking boards without having to drill holes in order to ensure that they are well fitted.

The following videos may help you to choose which system will offer the ideal solution for your individual circumstances.

The ‘EasyClick’ System

The ‘EasyChange’ System

Why Is the Installation Time Reduced?

EasyClick is essentially comprised of an understructure “rail system” which comes with pre-installed and pre-spaced patented EasyClick nylon clips. Our patented grooved decking boards are then simply pressed and locked in place.

What are the highlights of EasyClick system?

  • Boards require no screws, nails or other fasteners
  • Drastic reduction of installation errors
  • “Effortless” installation
  • Doesn’t cause water stagnation
  • Increased structural integrity and strength
  • Self-blocking and Self aligning system

EasyChange is comprised of an understructure which comes with pre-spaced special rotating nylon cams. Decking boards are then locked in place with a simple turn of the EasyKey.

What are the highlights of the EasyChange system?

  • Remove and replace any decking board from anywhere in the floor
  • Doesn’t cause water stagnation
  • Increased structural integrity and strength

For more information about these innovative new products, along with technical specifications, please click here

Ensuring A Trouble-Free Installation

Clients wanted a solution for paving or decking at extremely low heights. We spent over 12 months designing a fully adjustable, telescopic pedestal suitable to hold both paving slabs and timber joists. This pedestal is fully adjustable so split-millimetre differences in height are achievable. At these very tight height levels adjustment is a problem, so we designed the pad with a series of spokes around the circumference and a handle on one side to allow “fat-fingered” contractors to twist the units whilst the slab is in place.

Click Here To View Our Range of Balance Pedestals For Decking & Paving

Spring Maintenance For Green Roofs

A close-up of completed M-Tray green roof installation in Hammersmith

There is a common misconception currently that green roofs require absolutely no maintenance whatsoever.

Just as you would not expect to leave your garden alone for a prolonged period of time without any type of maintenance, green roofs do require some maintenance to ensure they do not die.

Key Information

  • Maintenance should be at least annual and preferably twice a year
  • In times of sustained very dry or very hot weather, they must be watered (they are drought resistant but not drought-proof)
  • Fertiliser – take advice from your local nursery or garden centre

Make Sure Your Green Roof Is Ready For Spring & Beyond

Spring has definitely now ‘sprung’ and as such, now is the ideal time for your green roof to receive a little care and attention to ensure that it is ready for the spring and beyond.

Some vegetation types such as sedum are planted as they require less maintenance than grass roofs for example. However, regular attention to soil moisture and feed levels, as well as the removal of weeds, is essential to maintain optimum performance.

To help ensure that your green roof remains in the best possible condition, we have used our extensive experience to help draw up a list of suggestions to put into practice.

  • Remove any debris that has built up
  • Ensure that all of the drainage outlets are clear allowing the water to flow
  • Remove all dead stalks, thatch and other dry vegetation from the roof as this can present a fire hazard
  • Remove any unwanted plants that may have been windblown onto the green roof
  • Apply the specified green roof feed/fertiliser
  • Repair any bare areas – either plug plant or sprinkle sedum chips/cuttings over bare areas if required

Please Note – When maintaining a wildflower green roof, it is crucial to remember that wildflowers are weeds. As such, care must be taken during maintenance NOT to pull out healthy and desired plants.

Wildflowers by their nature thrive on poor soils where there is little competition however they are more vulnerable to drought. Drying of stems and leaves will be seen through hot dry periods and although irrigation can be applied it is not a requirement as the ‘stressed’ plants will flower and seed to propagate themselves and will often recover with the onset of rain.

Suitable For Residential and Commercial Properties

Green roofs are suitable for both residential and commercial properties. Thanks to the modular nature of Wallbarn’s innovative M-Tray®, we are able to complete installations quickly and with the absolute minimum of disruption.

The case study below offers the perfect insight into how all of the pieces will come together to create a durable and sustainable modular green roof offering a variety of benefits for both the property and the local area.

Quickfire green roof installation at Hammersmith high-rise

What Makes The M-Tray® Perfect For Retro-Fitting

Green Roof Installation

Retro-fitting is a very common practice amongst many industries. Thanks to the modular nature of the M-Tray®, we offer the ideal solution for anyone looking to add a green roof to an existing open space and one that is significantly more cost-effective than the construction of new facilities.

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.

Not only this, once installed, but access to the roof is also 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.

Green Roof Installation

The Perfect Solution For ‘Hard to Access’ Areas

Perceived accessibility issues and concerns relating to potential disruption during installation are common reasons for property owners assuming that the installation of a green roof may not be possible for their building. This is true when it comes to retrofitting a green roof onto a rooftop area. However, thanks to the modular nature of the M-Tray®, we are able to provide a viable option for areas which are simply not suitable for other types of green roof installation.

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.

Fast and Effective Installation

Not only are our M-Trays® easy to install and transport but they will also last in the long term. Every now and again throughout the year, you will need to do some maintenance e.g. weeding but apart from that, our trays are designed to be as self-sufficient as possible (they are designed to capture rainwater, releasing it gradually, feeding the species set into our special substrate).

The modular units clip together allowing the plants to blend into a seamless, established and sustainable green roof.

The benefits of a modular green roof include:

  • Convenience and speed of installation
  • Future-proofing your roof
  • Instant results

The Perfect Example

The perfect example of how the M-Tray® offers the perfect solution for any almost area was a recent installation at the May Fair Hotel, Mayfair, London.

Because the M-Tray® is completely self-contained, we were able to carry them through the hotel on luggage trolleys up to the rooftop balcony without creating any mess with minimal disruption to complete the installation.

This allowed us to transform what was previously a fairly unsightly bitumen rooftop at a Mayfair hotel into a beautiful green space for guests to enjoy.

To find out more about the M-Tray®, please click here to visit the dedicated area of the site or call us at Tel. No. 020 8916 2222.

3 Benefits Of M-Tray Green Roof Installations

First glimpse of Wallbarn's new modular sedum roof|First glimpse of Wallbarn's new modular sedum roof

Although green roofs have been in existence for many years, their use in both new and existing architecture has experienced a significant surge of interest and installation.

Many countries have now introduced new legislation designed to add green roofing technology to open roof spaces and as such, the increased popularity is almost certain to continue. There has been a definitive move in modern architecture from grey to green.

Below we have highlighted 3 of the key areas that the installation of a green roof can benefit.

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

  • No. 1 – The plants are fully established and mature, so once in place, an instant greening effect is achieved. The plastic trays contain all the necessary sustenance, filtration and drainage components so the plants will survive long-term
  •  No. 2 – The M-Tray® modules are clean and easy to handle. Green roof construction is often a very messy affair, but with everything contained within the tray, nothing spills out, meaning the least disruption possible. A module can be carried by hand easily and can even be walked through buildings for retrofit projects. The membrane beneath the green roof is also protected from loose particles.
  • No. 3 – The green roof is future-proofed. If the structure beneath the vegetation ever needs to be inspected, one or more trays can be taken up without major issue; in contrast to roll-out roofs where many tonnes of the loose substrate have to be dug out. If any of the plants die back or if the planting scheme is changed, the trays can be lifted and replaced quickly and easily.

Environmental Benefits

With many architectural designs now being focused upon increasing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of the building, green roofs are becoming an increasingly popular element.

Popular in both commercial and residential properties (companies as large as Facebook now have a green roof on their Menlo Park headquarters), their installation is no longer dependant on the size of the building.

Taking A Closer Look At The M-Tray®

The M-Tray® is the user-friendly way to install green roofs. Sedum and wildflower plants have been pre-installed into these easy to handle, specially designed trays to provide an instant garden for flat roofs, terraces and structural decks.

Instead of overlooking an ugly rooftop area, they provide the opportunity to create a natural setting filled with flowering plants.

 

For more on this amazing modular green roof system, please click here.

Introducing Splinter Proof & Slip Resistant Decking From Wallbarn

iDecking Installation

One of the major concerns facing many decking installation teams relates to safety, particularly when the completed deck is located near to a swimming pool, jacuzzi or near the beach and therefore likely to come into regular contact with water.

It really is not possible to overemphasise the importance of choosing a decking product which offers the longest lasting and safest solution for the particular project.

Thankfully, a new innovative decking product is available in the UK which offers both slip-resistant and splinter proof properties. This product is called iDecking.

Key Features of iDecking

A complete decking solution made up of a lightweight aluminium substructure and composite or hardwood boards

A truly innovative system which allows you to install decking effortlessly

Key features:

  • Coloured before extrusion
  • Woodgrain effect – available in four colours
  • Eco-Friendly – 100% recyclable
  • Low maintenance
  • Extremely stable and durable
  • Splinter-free
  • Extremely slip-resistant
  • Weatherproof & waterproof
  • Insect-resistant
  • Class B1 fire rated

Creating a Slip Resistant Finish

iDecking have spent many years perfecting an innovative, environmentally friendly, non-splinter timber decking solution offering all the good looks of the real thing but without the flaw of other products.

Unlike many other traditional decking materials, the systems which have been developed by iDecking, completely waterproof your deck or roof decking
area with an aesthetically pleasing, and durable, slip-resistant finish.

Independently Tested

To help offer further evidence relating to the slip resistance of the iDecking boards, we have carried out some slip tests on our decking products recently. The tests are carried out according to BS7976 -2 Pendulum Slip Test.

The test is carried out via a pendulum testing machine in at least 2 directions, both in a dry state and in a wet state. The results are as follows:

Slip_Tests_For_Decking

Don’t Accept Second Best

With a number of cheaper, inferior products on the market, it is essential that designers and installers choose products which are specially designed and selected to fit the purpose of the project. Thankfully, the range of iDecking products ticks all of the right boxes.

For more information relating to decking, please click here.

Green Roof – Frequently Asked Questions

New modular sedum trays in action!|Cups interlocking|New modular sedum trays in action!|New modular sedum trays in action!

Fully established sedum plants nurtured from seed at our own UK nurseries, our M-Tray® green roof system consists of specially-designed modular trays containing superior, engineered substrate and fully established flowering sedum.

Available in easy-to-carry trays which click together to form a seamless green roof, our modular green roof system offers the easiest possible way of constructing a green roof.

We often receive questions asking for further insight and information relating to our innovative green roofing solution and the following FAQ section below has been outlined to help answer some of the more commonly received questions.

Fertilizer being added to a green roof

What is a green roof?

Sedum or other succulent plants grown into low-level substrates for construction on flat roofs and podium decks.

What is a modular green roof?

An instant green roof, pre-grown at our farm in specially designed cassettes. They can be hand-carried and click together to form a seamless green roof. They are lifted into place and can be easily removed to give access to the deck.

What are the advantages of a modular green roof?

Speed of installation; accessibility; less mess and disruption; instant results; future-proofing

What is the cost of an M-Tray®?

  • M-Trays®= £60m²
  • Wildflower = £62m²
  • Delivery = £60/pallet (32 trays)
  • Geotextile fleece = £1m²

All prices are subject to alteration.

Where are the M-Trays grown?

At our farm near Basingstoke, Hampshire

How big is the tray?

500mm x 500mm x 100mm deep

How many units per m²?

4 x modules

How much do the units weigh?

100kgs/m² – we recommend that you consult an Engineer to advise on loadings (120 kg/m² saturated)

What is the vegetation?

The vegetation is a mix of 11 x Sedum species. We also have a Wildflower/Sedum mix available upon request.

Can I walk on the trays?

The modules are not designed for foot traffic but can tolerate being stepped on for maintenance purposes.

Can M-Tray® grow in partial shade?

Yes, however, like any living plant, an element of light is required.

Do I need to have any design?

No. However we can produce a layout guide along with estimates for trays, geotextile fleece and border pebbling if required.

Are there any requirements?

Yes. Fire regulations require a hard border between vegetation and the walls of buildings as well as around features such as roof lights and fall arrests (consult GRO code for more details)

Is there a full cover of vegetation?

Our M-Trays® have been grown at our farm for several months prior to delivery. They will arrive with a minimum of 90% cover.

How much is delivery?

From £60.00 per pallet (max 32 units/pallet). NB The M-Trays® need to be removed from the pallet immediately. Pebbling and geotextile fleece can be delivered separately.

Does the area have to be level?

M-Tray® can be laid on a level area and on a slope up to 15°. Ideally, we recommend not going above 10°.

Do they need maintenance?

The sedum is very hardy and will tolerate extreme conditions. Watering the sedum in extreme conditions is advisable and we can supply an irrigation kit if required.

At the end of Summer and end of Winter, we recommend taking time to remove any dead leaves and vegetation that has accumulated.

Application of a slow-release fertiliser is advisable at certain times of the year.

Do I need irrigation?

For best year-round results we do recommend installing an irrigation system although this is not absolutely necessary.

What other materials will I need to buy along with my M-Trays®?

This depends on your individual requirements.

Standard:

  • Geotextile fleece to protect existing roof/membrane
  • Riverstone pebbles to be used as a firebreak and to go around drains

Optional:

  • M-Tray® Irrigation Kit
  • Access chamber
  • Aluminium edging

I have seen modular systems fail, why won’t yours?

This is our 4th generation of the module, designed and manufactured by Wallbarn here in the UK. The 100mm deep tray with its optimum drainage; our specially mixed substrate and careful choice of mature and hardy sedum species mean the M-Tray® is the best quality modular system on the market.

What other preparations should we consider prior to delivery?

The M-Tray® modules are delivered stacked onto pallets and must be unpacked within 24hrs of delivery. A crane and forklift may be needed to transfer pallets onto the roof.

3 Reasons Why Green Spaces In Cities Are More Important Than Ever

An image of a completed green roof installation

As cities around the world continue to grow, more and more people are moving into spaces which are already crowded.

With this being the case, what can we do to help transform these areas into healthy places to live? An increasing body of research tells us that we should be letting nature back in.

A tremendous article on the National History Museum website highlighted the following 3 reasons why creating green spaces is more important than ever.

  1. By 2050, 68% of the global population will live in cities. That’s 2.5 billion more people than today. In Europe, three out of four of us already live in urban areas, and the consequences of that are becoming clear.
  2. Researchers estimate that nine million people die every year as a direct result of air pollution. In London, two million people – of which 400,000 are children – are living in areas with toxic air.
  3. Green spaces in cities mitigate the effects of pollution and can reduce a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect, which refers to heat trapped in built-up areas.

“Dr Cecil Konijnendijk is a Professor of Urban Forestry at the University of British Colombia (UBC). He studies the role of nature and green spaces in cities and towns, and how we can use the natural world to make urban environments healthier and more liveable.”

‘Research shows really clearly that we need nature in our surroundings. We need trees in our streets, plants in our gardens and flowers on our balcony. We need nature as our neighbour all the time.

‘We have a responsibility as human beings to take care of nature in our cities. In return, the benefits to our health would be huge.’

For the full article, please click here.

An image of a completed green roof installation

How can green roofs help?

Perfect for retrofit projects, our M-Tray® modular green roof system offers the ideal solution to help increase the green spaces in built-up areas.

Some of the benefits include:

  • They are perfect for hard-to-access areas such as single-storey extensions, working hotels and other commercial spaces which can make installing roll-out very challenging
  • M-Trays® can be handballed into even the most awkward areas discreetly and with minimum mess
  • Each M-Tray® module is 500 x 500mm and can be carried by one operative and therefore installed much faster than traditional roll-out
  • Our modules are conveniently packaged, palletised and delivered to site

For more on the M-Tray®, please click here.

The Importance Of Effective Green Roof Irrigation

Installing Green Roofing Has Never Caused Less Disruption

Is irrigation crucial? For best year-round results, we do recommend installing an irrigation system although this is not absolutely necessary.

Now, when it comes to green roof irrigation, you should be aware of the fact that the typical installations wouldn’t actually rely on any kind of additional and artificial irrigation. This is mainly due to the fact that the plants and grass used for the instalment are not that water-dependent, and the occasional rain is going to provide them with enough.

However, in cases of prolonged periods of hot weather or in places in which rainfall can be rare, the green roof irrigation has to be thoroughly considered. The most appropriate way to handle the issue and the one which is going to provide you with tons of benefits is the installation of a pop-up sprinkler system.

An image of a fully installed green roof at the Victoria Drive project

Supplying a range of irrigation systems

Wallbarn can supply a range of irrigation systems for installation with extensive sedum green roofs as well as intensive roof gardens.

These range from simple timer-based sprinkler networks to fully automated, web-based irrigators, which will feature drought and leak detectors, separate growing zones and control panels.

The pop-up sprinkler system

A pop-up sprinkler system is incredibly convenient for a wide range of different reasons. Right off the bat, the watering parts of the system are going to stay hidden within the instalment until the time for watering comes.

This is easily programmable through a controlled and unified watering system which is located downstairs, and you could easily adjust it as per the weather requirements.

Furthermore, this is going to spare you all the hassle which is associated with manually watering the green roof.

To find out more about the M-Tray®, please click here to visit the dedicated area of the site or call us at Tel. No. 020 8916 2222.

Why Are Sustainable Building Materials So Important?

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

Increased environmental concerns over the past few years have resulted in an increased drive to develop sustainable building materials.

More and more construction projects are being completed using sustainable building materials. These materials offer a number of advantages, both economic and environmental.

Hardwood Timber Decking Tiles

Choosing the right materials

When choosing a building material for a construction project, a number of factors need to be considered when determining how sustainable the material is. These materials need to be harvested from renewable rather than non-renewable resources. The environmental impact of the material chosen must be considered over the whole life-cycle of the project, rather than merely over the short term.

Many factors to consider

Resource efficiency is an important factor to keep in mind. This refers to materials that can be used as efficiently as possible with a minimum of effort.

For example, choosing materials that include a sizeable amount of recycled, post-consumer or post-industrial content, makes a project more efficient, as does choosing materials that have been produced locally to reduce transportation costs.

How are the materials being manufactured?

How the building materials are manufactured is also something that needs to be kept in mind.

  • Is the manufacturing process itself sustainable?
  • Was renewable energy used to power the process, and were waste products kept to a minimum?
  • Were steps taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Reusing salvaged building materials from other projects or other buildings is another important strategy for making a construction project more sustainable. This helps to save resources in several ways. First of all, these materials are reused, rather than being disposed of in a landfill.

Second, reusing materials reduces the amount of energy that is needed, since new building materials do not have to be manufactured from scratch. The amount of energy that is required to refurbish these old materials is significantly less than the amount that would be required to manufacture brand-new materials.

Increasing sustainability

The overall design of a building should also serve to enhance the sustainability of the materials that are used. Buildings should be designed to be as energy-efficient as possible to avoid wasting excess power on heating, cooling, and lighting. By choosing the right material, architects can dramatically reduce the amount of energy that is required for a building’s operations.

There are many questions that need to be answered when you are considering using sustainable building materials in a construction project. By keeping these principles in mind, you can ensure that your next project is as environmentally friendly as possible.

For more information on the role green roofing systems can play in sustainable buildings, please visit the dedicated section on our website by clicking here or call us on Tel. No. 020 8916 2222.