Through creative partnerships, we’re finding new ways to improve quality and performance in green roofs.
To help us develop green roof systems with a more diverse and interesting range of plants, we set out to identify species with attractive foliage and flowers that can survive in cold rooftop conditions. Working with the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, we tested around 30 non-succulent species in three locations, including extreme mountain climates. We found 15 that survived and thrived, and are now using them to create lightweight green roof systems that are not only hardy and visually appealing, but also enhance biodiversity by providing nectar and fruit for insects and birds.
The lack of a method for assessing wind uplift performance in green roofs has been inhibiting their adoption in some locations. So we were happy to join a research consortium, led by the National Research Council of Canada, aiming to develop standardised tests. The project resulted in the CAN/CSA A123.24 Canadian Standard Test Method of Wind Resistance of Modular Vegetated Roof Assembly – the first of its kind in the world. By measuring wind resistance in green roofs, it provides a tool for designers and building officials to evaluate their suitability for specific installations.
The growing medium in green roof systems is thin, so it needs to be highly effective – but traditional ways of formulating it are expensive and time consuming. In collaboration with our licence partner, Next Level Stormwater Management, and the University of Guelph in Canada, we developed a tool to create and screen growing medium formulations for different situations and locations, quickly and economically. This is done by accessing a database of the physical and chemical properties of a wide range of components. It’s already proving to be an efficient way to develop new, high-performing formulations, which we validate through field-testing.
Our green roof system helped beautify New York’s Empire State Building, while saving energy and adding value.
Less energy used
Our green roof system helped Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York City save 25.7 million litres of water runoff – and create a safe habitat for wildlife.
Less energy used
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