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    Should Green Roof Installation Be Made Mandatory?

    April 30th, 2021

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

    Offering a number of proven benefits, it’s not difficult to see why. The benefits of constructing a green roof include:

    • Improving the local environment by providing wildlife habitats
    • Absorbing CO2, pollution and particulates from the atmosphere
    • Improving sound and vibration insulation
    • Improving thermal insulation
    • Reducing the amount and speed of rainwater run-off by around 50% and forming part of a SUDS design
    • Reducing the“heat island” effect in built-up areas and helping to improve air quality and environment

    Protecting the structure and waterproofing membrane from:

    • UV light and heat from the sun
    • Ballasting inverted waterproofing systems

    Optimising the structural footprint by:

    • Increasing space – providing new and attractive natural amenity areas
    • Adding floor space in often high-density developments
    • Adding focal points
    • Decreasing energy costs
    • Increasing the value of the development
    • Properties with green roofs sell/rent faster than naked buildings
    • Making the planning process easier
    • Money-saving

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

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

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


    Taking Additional Steps

    Introducing a requirement for green roofs to be installed as part of standard planning policies would be a huge step in the right direction. However, the case for retrofitting green roofs to existing buildings must also be made.

    Developers and architects would then be able to factor this into their plans as a necessity rather than an optional extra.

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

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

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


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

    What makes the M-Tray® unique?

    Offering the ideal solution for application to all types of building, our M-Tray® has been specifically designed to make sedum roof installation quick and easy – with minimum disruption to the plants and the structure they are going onto – and to provide a seamless, verdant finish – an instant and sustainable green roof.

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

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

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