What Are Wildflower Green Roofs

An image of a wildflower green roof

There is a lot of chatter about wildflower green roofs but this is an area in which little information is actually known.

Wildflower green roofs, also known as 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.

Choosing 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.

The Correct 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.

Wildflower Green Roofs Need To Be Maintained

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 users 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?

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.

Currently Browsing: Wildflower Green Roofs

How Much Do You Know About The Products You Are Using?

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?

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

Cutting No Corners

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.

Independent Testing

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.

A Robust Range

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

What Will Make Our Fire Rated Pedestal Different?

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

Based upon our ASP (Adjustable Support Pedestal, now known as the Universal pedestal) which is designed to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product, due for launch in Q1 of 2020.

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

Using stainless steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we are developing this bespoke product from scratch, which will ensure that it is not compromised during transport or installation, and it will be subject to extensive independent testing to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Key Features

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

Why Is This New Product Needed?

New legislation introduced on 21st December 2018 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).

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

 

Introducing The Metalpad – Wallbarn’s Fire Rated Pedestal For Decking and Paving

Wallbarn Logo

Previously viewed as specialist products, non-combustible pedestals and pads are now going to be essential to ensure compliance with fire regulations affecting the construction industry which have become significantly more stringent.

At Wallbarn, we are pro-actively reacting to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance with our products.

Based upon our ASP design to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product and which is due for launch in quarter one of 2020.

The Class A 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 stainless steel solution offering longevity, durability and strength.

Key Advantages Include:

  • Suitable for paving slabs and timber decking
  • Superior quality
  • Suspended system
  • Fully adjustable
  • High quality
  • Rigorously tested
  • Durable and designed with longevity in mind

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

Using stainless steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we are developing this bespoke product from scratch and it will be subject to extensive independent testing to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

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.

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).

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

Can a ‘green roof’ strategy could reduce the impact of excess rainfall?

A close up image of a green roof installation

A green roof strategy could help cut the negative impact caused by severe storms and flooding, studies have shown.

Effective Protection Against Excess Rainfall

A study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency has taken a closer look at the way green roofs can effectively combat the threat posed by annual rainfall.

“Results indicate that the green roofs are capable of removing 50% of the annual rainfall volume from a roof through retention and evapotranspiration. Rainfall not retained by green roofs is detained, effectively increasing the time to peak, and slowing peak flows for a watershed.”

“There are seasonal considerations as more runoff is generated during winter and for many summer storms, there was no runoff. Green roof runoff does contain concentrations of some nutrients and other parameters, but values are in line with other planted systems. Due to the volume reduction, actual nutrient loadings from green roofs are less than asphalt roofing runoff or otherwise manageable at the downspout.”

Click here to view the full study.

Amazing Results

Researchers at Newcastle University compared the effectiveness of urban green infrastructures such as green roofs, ponds, and water channels with traditional engineering measures such as culverts or flood walls in reducing disruption during extreme rainfall events such as ‘Thunder Thursday’.They found that greening every roof in the city could reduce travel disruption by over 25%.

Green infrastructure uses natural processes to store rainwater and decrease the amount released on roads and pavements.

As a result, the depth of flooding is reduced which can make its impact more manageable.

Richard Dawson, professor of earth systems engineering at Newcastle University, said: “We saw on Thunder Thursday the massive amount of damage and disruption that flooding can have on our transport networks.”

For more on this story, please click here.

Additional Benefits of Green Roof

Along with this huge benefit, the installation of a green roof also offers the following benefits to the property and the surrounding area.

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

Innovation in Green Roofing Systems

Wallbarn has developed a new, improved design for the M-Tray® modular green roof system for 2019. This pre-grown sedum green roof product is supplied in easy-to-handle plastic tray units.

For more on this, please click here.

Currently Browsing: Can a ‘green roof’ strategy could cut storm traffic delays

The Benefits Of A Rail Pedestal System

With the sustained move towards the use of porcelain tiles rather than concrete tiles, finding a suitable framework to lay the tiles onto has taken on increased importance.

By using a framework created from our pedestal rail system and laying the tiles using pedestals and rails, extra support will be provided to the structure.

Innovative New Modular Pedestal System

This new innovative modular system will allow you to lay ceramic planks, even long ones, with the minimum of effort allowing for aesthetic solutions which were not previously achievable with this new format.

Key Advantages

  • Creates lateral stability across deck by reducing movement
  • Bespoke headpiece clips onto profiled aluminium joist
  • Aluminium rail clicks securely onto Megapad pedestal
  • Timber decking can also fix directly into rail for low height thresholds

Install Boards of Any Shape And Size

This new type of pedestal rail system is suitable to help install decking boards and stonewares or slabs made of stone and ceramics, of any shape and size.‎

However, the introduction of the pedestal rail system to the market ensures that outdoor raised floors can be created with boards and a mixed top finish.‎

Ideal for set-ups with large-sized stoneware tiles, the pedestals rail system provides stability and finishes that have not been thought of so far with ceramic stonewares.‎

Constructed from lightweight, resistant aluminium, together with the pedestals, it guarantees a capacity and solidity that cannot be compared to that without the joist.‎

The rail headpiece has integrated lugs to hold porcelain or other slabs/tiles. The headpiece can be slid along the rail to ensure a secure fit to the edges of the slabs/tiles.

The headpiece is available with 2mm or 4mm wide lugs. All lugs are 10mm high.

This system is ideal for ceramic planks, which are often very thin and can be supplied up to 1 metre in length.

The rail system not only gives greater stability across the paved area, but it also speeds up installation significantly.

Instead of having to measure each pedestal height when attempting to create a flat upper surface, installers can measure the pedestals at each end of the 2-metre long aluminium rail to get the level, then place the intermediate pedestals under the rail and wind them up until they “bite”.

Talk to a member of the team for more information and guidance on our rail system and range of support pedestals.

* Please note this Rail System will NOT WORK without purchasing Megapads or Minipads at the same time.

For more information about our pedestal rail system, please click here.

Working With Ultra-Low Thresholds

When faced with tight height thresholds during the installation, standard adjustable pedestals can prove to be difficult to work with due to the limited space available.

Because of this, working with feedback from our customers who needed an effective solution to restricted space areas which still required minor height alterations to achieve completely flat surfaces, Wallbarn developed the MiniPad.

The Smallest Adjustable Pedestal in the UK

We believe that the 10-20mm universal pedestal the smallest fully adjustable pedestal on the market in the UK allowing for use with ultra-low thresholds.

Allowing installers to achieve millimetre precision with our pedestals, the MiniPad decking and paving pedestal can cope with falls in more than one direction and accommodate large drops and channels.  

Minipad

Have an ultra-low threshold? Try our Minipads range. Our time-saving alternative to fixed height pads and perfect for overlaying and retro-fitting. Available from 10mm to 40mm in just three products:

  • 10-25mm
  • 22-30mm
  • 28-40mm

Product benefits:

  • Achieve precise, split-millimetre accuracy in the height of the pedestal to accommodate tiny changes in the level.
  • Designed for use when working with very tight spaces
  • Thread allows 5mm of change to the level
  • Further 5mm extension plate which is fitted to the bottom of the pedestal
  • 5mm extension plate turns 10-15mm pedestal into a 15-20mm fully adjustable pedestal for use in tight spaces
  • Special handle grips allow installers to adjust the height whilst slab is in situ – saves constantly lifting the slab to change the height

Fully Adjustable

  • Achieve millimetre precision with our pedestals
  • Cope with falls in more than one direction and accommodate large drops and channels
  • Height ranges as follows:
      • Standard Universal range: 35mm up to 365mm
      • Universal Extra: 85mm up to 380mm
      • Minipads: available 10mm up to 40mm
  • Our time-saving alternative to fixed height pads
  • Perfect for overlaying and retro-fitting
  • Achieve precise, split-millimetre accuracy in the height of the pedestal to accommodate tiny changes in the level
CODE HEIGHT DIAMETER OF HEAD DIAMETER OF BASE DISTANCE BETWEEN LUGS LUG HEIGHT WEIGHT TOLERANCE* MAXIMUM LOAD*
SP-MEG-010 10-20mm 150mm 150mm 60mm 15mm 683kg 1,171kg
SP-MEG-022 22-30mm 150mm 150mm 60mm 15mm 683kg 1,171kg
SP-MEG-028 28-37mm 150mm 150mm 60mm 15mm 683kg 1,171kg

Adjustments Made Easy!

In tiny spaces, it can be difficult to make adjustments by hand. This is where the multi-function key called the Easykey can be used.

The curved and shaped profile at one end which can be used as a spanner/wrench type tool. It grips around the series of vertical bars between the head and base and can be used to turn the thread up and down.

The Importance of Non-Combustible Pedestals

Wallbarn Logo

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

Our range of decking and paving pedestal support systems offer a versatile, durable and cost-effective solution to projects on all scales.

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.

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 – will usher in a regulatory change that will signal a major upheaval in the building industry.

Developing A Stainless Steel Adjustable Pedestals

At Wallbarn, we are pro-actively reacting to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance with our products.

Using stainless steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we are developing this bespoke product from scratch and it will be subject to extensive independent testing to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Based upon our ASP design to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a stainless steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product and which is due for launch in quarter one of 2020.

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

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

 

What Are Non-Combustible Pedestals?

Wallbarn Logo

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.

Previously viewed as specialist products, non-combustible pedestals and pads are now going to be essential to ensure compliance with fire regulations affecting the construction industry which have become significantly more stringent.

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).

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

Introducing The MetalPad

At Wallbarn, we are pro-actively reacting to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance with our products.

Based upon our ASP design to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product and which is due for launch in quarter one of 2020.

Designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of both commercial and residential projects, our Class A1 product will be a fully adjustable stainless steel pedestal to providing durability, strength & versatility where it is needed most.

Key Advantages Include:

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

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

Using stainless steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we are developing this bespoke product from scratch and it will be subject to extensive independent testing to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

 

Non-Combustible Pedestals and Supports

Wallbarn Logo

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).

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

Making the Adjustment

At Wallbarn, we are pro-actively reacting to the changes in fire safety regulations to ensure compliance with our products.

Based upon our ASP design to help distribute weight effectively, we are currently developing a steel adjustable pedestal which will be a Class A1 product and which is due for launch in quarter one of 2020.

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

Using stainless steel to ensure extreme temperature tolerance, we are developing this bespoke product from scratch and it will be subject to extensive independent testing to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Stay tuned for details of the MetalPad…….

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 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.

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