Does your green roof need reviving?

Everyone wants to save money and do things as cheaply as possible when it comes to our houses, and green roofs are no exception.

Unfortunately, corners are often cut during the design and build and that roof which looks lovely and healthy on the day of installation can quickly deteriorate. In fact, the vast majority of green roofs we see are in poor condition, and won’t be delivering the kind of benefits that the owners would like… whether that is a great place for nature, energy bill savings, managing floodwater, or just looking healthy and green.

Green Roof Revival is a company set up to bring roofs like this into top condition. This week Building Green accompanied Lee Evans, director of Green Roof Revival, on a site visit to 2 roofs in Chichester. This is what we saw.

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The Brighton High Line?

So why not a Brighton High Line at Madeira Drive?

Flying high above New York City’s Meatpacking district is the High Line. You’ll have heard of it – it’s in the top 5 most Instagrammed sites in the world, receives over 7 million visitors a year. The cost was $273m. The additional tax revenues alone are estimated at $900m, with some $2bn additional local economic activity.

According to GreenPlay LLC, “The High Line district (including the Chelsea neighborhood), long back-on-its-heels, is now one of the hottest markets for upscale residential, retail, and office-center development.

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A recent visit by Building Green left us even more impressed than we expected to be. Run entirely by a Trust and a volunteer workforce, the place was packed with happy, strolling visitors. Gardeners moved through the planting, leaving wafts of mint and other fragrances in the wake of their secateurs. There were shops and stalls – all profits back to the Trust – as well as public art, recliners and all around the activity of cranes and new development in progress. As the sign on a new apartment block put it “Think the High Line is Cool? Check out our Roof Deck and no fee rentals“.

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Now to Brighton. We already have a high line – it’s Madeira Terraces, created by the Victorians for similar motives to the modern New Yorkers. Work is underway to source funding for their repair and restoration, and we have the marvellous backdrop of the Madeira Drive Green Wall for visitors to enjoy again in future as they walk the regenerated seafront.

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But what if the terrace deck itself was greened? Planted with attractive, fragrant and salt tolerant plants that were a reason for walking the terrace itself? The terrace as a destination, not just a roof for new businesses or a viewing platform for occasional events? It can be done technically. It has access including a mid-level lift at the Concorde. It may well provide an additional avenue for funding, and add value to the offer the restored terraces provide through increased footfall, marketability and environmental quality.

What do you think? Here at Building Green, we will be promoting this vision and encouraging the Council to adopt it. Can you help? Here’s a collage that provides some food for thought.

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Green Architecture Day tomorrow!

Don’t forget, our own James Farrell and Lee Evans will be at Green Architecture Day tomorrow.

Come down and say hello! – we are speaking at 1040.

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For info, tickets etc visit here.

Green Architecture Day – lineup confirmed

Green Architecture Day line up has been confirmed for 2017.

Taking place on 25 March, it includes the following speakers:

  • James Farrell and Lee Evans from Building Green and Organic Roofs – green walls and roofs
  • Duncan Baker-Brown – The reuse atlas
  • Jasmine & Simon Dale – The Lammas eco village and building Hobbiton
  • Bill Knight & James Shorten – Why do planning experts grow mushrooms?
  • Cath Hassell – SuDS in the City – Sustainable water solutions
  • Sandy Halliday – Pushing the envelope – putting the eco in economics

For tickets etc, please visit https://brightonpermaculture.org.uk/courses/greenarchitecture

Come and say hello!