How To Use Green Roofs To Create Environmentally Friendly Spaces

Installing Green Roofing Has Never Caused Less Disruption
A close-up of completed M-Tray green roof installation|An overhead shot of a green roof

With the constant progression of urban growth and increased levels of density in cities across the world have created, and continue to create, “urban jungles”. Such a concentration of structures and people can often lead to a sense of oppression, stark, noisy, unnatural blocks of concrete and glass.

Wide-Ranging Benefits

In addition to the obvious economic advantages an attractive, natural-looking, differentiated property with lots of green space will have in the local environment, which can bring higher rental yields and real estate values, the running costs of those buildings can be reduced to such a degree that green roofs pay for themselves and bring about a “green dividend” to the owners.

Green roofs and living walls are a great way of providing an attractive, useful, environmentally friendly open space on otherwise ‘lost’ flat roofs and podium decks.  They offer considerable benefits, some not always considered by developers.

A Full Service

Wallbarn provides a full service including design, planting, installation and maintenance.

This includes:

  • Initial development
  • Site visits
  • Detailed design
  • Planting of modules
  • Installation
  • Maintenance

All construction and maintenance are carried out under strict Health & Safety and COSHH regulations. Installation is carried out according to the requirements of the manufacturer. Power and water should be supplied before installation.

M-Tray® – An instant modular Green Roof

  • Our M-Tray® green roof system consists of specially-designed modular trays containing superior, engineered substrate and fully established flowering sedum
  • Easy-to-carry trays which click together to form a seamless green roof
  • Fully established sedum plants nurtured from seed at our own UK nurseries

Watch our short documentary-style film about how the M-Tray® was designed, how it is produced and installed on rooftops (7 mins).


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.

The Perfect Decking For Poolside Areas

Waterproof Decking

Designed to innovate in the field of outdoor decking and wall claddings, the iDecking system is the culmination of years of research and development with some of the world’s most important architects, designers and qualified deck builders.

iDecking’s revolutionary decking system offers a truly high-performance product.

iDecking – stunning private home

Why is it so good?

A truly innovative system which allows you to install decking effortlessly

  • No nails, screws, drills or spacers
  • Up to five times faster to install  than traditional deck building
  • Ideal for low thresholds (whole system max 80mm)
  • Luxurious, natural-looking decking

Slip-resistant Finish

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

Made from recycled rice husk, it has exceptional anti-slip properties. In fact, we have just received a test score from the University of Hamburg for slipperiness, along with the extrusion it is 60 µ, perpendicular to the extrusion it is 58 µ (it looks like the requirement is > 36) – test number EN 15534-4.

These properties not only help to protect the structure to which it’s applied but also leads to a longer lifespan than other decking systems currently available.

‘Game-Changing’ benefits

Amongst the ‘game-changing’ benefits offered by this innovative modern type of waterproof decking, you will receive key features including:

    • 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

Not only are they easy to install, these decking systems are extremely durable ensuring that they drastically reduce the need for periodic maintenance.

The exceptional anti-slip scores and non-splinter aspects of the iDecking boards make them very valuable for pool areas.

With a wide range of colours available, designing pool areas is a much easier process than when using other WPC composite boards which tend to be similar colours and textures

For more information relating to decking, please visit the following link –

Find Out How Green Roofs Can Transform Almost Any Lost Space

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

Whilst the name ‘green roofs’ will undoubtedly make many people look to the skies as they automatically think of the building rooftops, the versatility of the M-Tray® ensures that they are suitable for a wide variety of open and lost spaces, regardless of size, with some projects taking place much closer to the ground!

One of our previous projects resulted from a request from a residential customer who wanted to ensure that a recently installed garden storage unit on the back of his home was more attractive

By giving it a green roof. The M-Tray®, being modular in shape and incredibly easy to install, lent itself perfectly to the job.

Providing Easy Access

The green roof components needed to be walked through the house to access the garden. Traditional roll-out green roof systems, with their bags of aggregate-based substrate and sedum blankets spilling compost and plant matter, are extremely messy to transport and install.

The M-Tray® is self-contained within the walls of the plastic tray and comes with fully established, sustainable vegetation.

Taking a closer look at the M-Tray®

Our M-Tray® modular green roofing system 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.

What makes the M-Tray® green roof unique?

  • Mature, established vegetation
  • Click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • Easy to transport and install
  • Specially-mixed substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • 100mm deep cavities for healthy roots
  • Optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • No sharp edges or mess meaning minimum disruption to plants, deck structure and inhabitants!

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

Contact Us

Wallbarn’s friendly and helpful team are here to answer any of your questions. Please give us a call on Tel. No. 0208 916 2222, send us an e-mail or use our ‘live chat’ option and we will be happy to help in any way that we can.

Do Green Roofs Offer Noise Reduction Qualities?

M Tray installation through a window|The M Tray Modular Green Roof

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

Green roofs have increased dramatically in popularity in recent times, thanks in large part due to the number of ecological and economic advantages they offer.

These include:

  • Increased thermal insulation
  • Floodwater management
  • Improved air quality
  • Enhanced biodiversity

However, did you know that green roofs can also be effective at reducing noise?

Noise reduction qualities

Green roofs have important acoustic benefits as well. A study has shown that:

“Because the typical substrates used for green roofs are (highly) porous and thus allow sound waves to enter the growing mediums. Because of the large number of interactions between sound waves and substrate particles, attenuation occurs. As a result, less noise will reach the back façade or the roof apartment compared to the situation with a non-vegetated roof that is most often made of highly reflective material (e.g. concrete).”

Please click here for more on this study.

Taking a closer look

Zaloa Azkorra, an agricultural engineer of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, is currently conducting some fascinating in-depth research at the University School of Mining and Public Works Engineering into the benefits provided by green walls.

The researcher has concluded that walls comprising plants offer great potential for absorbing noise and could be used as acoustic insulation.

Temperature & acoustic benefits

The researcher is proposing that green walls be used in buildings, inside and outside, as they can improve the temperature and, what is more, they can achieve acoustic improvements. Furthermore, “they are attractive and cool,” said Azkorra. But she also admitted at the same time that having such systems is costly and that, what is more, the systems need to be improved. As Azkorra pointed out, “apart from having plants on the walls, they have to be maintained and that is quite expensive”. So right now she sees no alternative but to fit them in special buildings.

Now that the plant modules have been cultivated, she has begun to carry out thermal studies on them to study what benefits they can bring from the temperature perspective.

For more on this story, please visit –

Green Roofing Benefits

The huge range of benefits offered by green roofing systems is something that the team at Wallbarn wholeheartedly endorse.

To view many of the benefits available, please take a moment to visit the dedicated ‘green roofing’ section on our website by clicking on the following link –

For more on our pre-grown sedum green roof product, supplied in easy-to-handle plastic tray units, please check out the video below.

Using Green Roofs To Enhance The Local Environment

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

Green roofs provide possibly the easiest and most effective methods of helping to bring nature into the cities.

They are a useful and realistic way to improve the aesthetics of often very stark and ugly flat roofs.

Enhancing the Local Environment

Finding ways to improve the local environment is high on the to-do list of cities throughout the UK and this is the number one priority of the green roof division at Wallbarn.

We work closely with both our clients and landscape architects during all stages of the planning process to ensure that we can install the most appropriate and diverse green wall possible, such as we did at the Victoria Drive Care Home at Wimbledon.

Our green roofs designed and constructed to complement the existing architecture of the building in question with the goal of being able to capture the imagination of occupants and visitors for years to come.

We offer our customers the opportunity to benefit from the wide-ranging benefits offered by this easy to install the modular green roof system, the M-TRAY®.

While a traditional roof is designed to keep water off and heat away, green roof technology is designed to do something a little different.

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


Green Roof Planning – What Did You Need To Know?

An image of a completed green roof installation

When you start to think about installing a green roof design on to your property, there are a few things which you need to take into account.

What is a Green Roof?

First things first though, do you actually know what a green roof is??

A green roof is really a rooftop garden and can be anything from a two-inch covering of vegetation to a fully-fledged accessible garden with flowers, shrubs and even trees.

The Planning Stage

Thanks to the M-Tray® modular green roofing system, the installation of green roofing systems have never been easier. However, no corners should be cut in the planning stage to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

Whenever you are planning the design of your green roof you need to think about a few details including:

  • What type of drainage system will you require? This is incredibly important and something which needs to be well thought out and designed before the work starts. A well designed green roof can be a tremendous asset to a property with terrific insulation properties helping to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter which in turn helps to reduce heating and cooling bills.
  • What are the goals for your green roof? Is it simply for environmental purposes or do you wish to create a space which you can really enjoy to the full?
  • What visual requirements do you have for your green roof? This is another major consideration to be thought through in the design stages. Green roofs are aesthetically pleasing and can really help to lift a neighbourhood so it is important to think about these issues in the beginning.
  • What is the level of required access? Although all green roofs need to have some access for maintenance purposes some of them really are rooftop gardens and there for the family to enjoy. You need to think about how much access will be needed when you start on your green roof design.
  • What is a load of structure support? Every structure will have the maximum amount of weight it can support so this is extremely important to discover and workaround.
  • What budget do you have? The creation of a green roof is initially more expensive than traditional roofing materials but there are many benefits to make up for it. The savings to the environment and on energy costs can be tremendous in time. The price you pay will largely depend upon the style of green roof you opt for.

After answering all of these questions you will have some idea of the best design for a green roof on your property. They are becoming increasingly popular and can provide a fabulous feature for your property just so long as you have thought things through properly.

For more on our range of green roofing options, please visit the dedicated section on our website by clicking here.

M-Tray® Silverlake West Dorset

M-Tray® installation at Silverlake, West Dorset


Wallbarn’s modular Green Roof chosen
for stunning lakeside development


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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Habitat site takes Wallbarn green roof

M-Tray® installation at Silverlake, West Dorset

Wallbarn’s modular Green Roof chosen for stunning lakeside development.

The Ideal Solution

The M-Tray® provided an excellent green roof solution for an exclusive and sustainable holiday village in West Dorset.

Wallbarn has to date supplied its modular green roof system for the health spa and a number of boathouses.

The spa was nearing completion so the client was looking for a quick solution, making the easy-to-install M-Tray® a perfect choice.

Watch the short film below.

What makes the M-Tray® unique?

Our M-Tray® system consists of specially-designed modular trays containing superior, engineered substrate and fully established flowering sedum.

  • Mature, established vegetation
  • Click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • Easy to transport and install
  • Specially-mixed substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • 100mm deep cavities for healthy roots
  • Optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • No sharp edges or mess meaning minimum disruption to plants, deck structure and inhabitants!

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